It’s one of the clichés of parenthood. The constant, incessant, non-stop, persistent – do you get the point – nagging of a small child’s voice.

I remember before I was a parent, sitting with people who had children and wondering why they didn’t pay attention. How were they able to ignore that gnat-like buzzing in their ears?

Then I had my own children. It’s easy to acclimate to sounds. I live across the street from a parking garage and, for the most part, have tuned out the sounds of cars coming and going outside my window. Like this, my children’s pestering has become the white noise in the background of my everyday life.

On occasion I’ll be in the middle of something and one of my kids will attempt to get my attention. The funny part is when Josh is there; he hasn’t become quite as inured to it as I have. After a minute he’ll say, “Melissa! Aren’t you going to answer them?” I fully intended to respond; I just wanted to finish what I was doing first.

Today God showed me that I’ve been treating Him the same way. There are times during my day when I feel the Holy Spirit’s prompting:

“Sit down and read your Bible.”

“Pray about that.”

“Put on worship music instead of those kids’ shows – it will help with your peace of mind.”

“Call that person.”

“Spend time with Me.”

“Melissa. MELissa. MELISSA.”

And I brush it away.

I hear You. I’ll get to it in a minute. Ok, you’re right, just let me finish this first.

Even when I do respond, I’m not giving Him my undivided attention. I’ll turn from doing my devotions to reprimand the kids. I’ll be thinking of all the things I need to get done instead of concentrating on my prayers.

The thing is…it’s not for His sake that He wants me to focus on Him. Reading my Bible, worship, prayer, and down times all correct my perspective, strengthen me, encourage me, show me His love, grace and mercy. It’s good for me to remove myself from ME and recognize how small and insignificant I am compared to Him and His plans.

“…blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” Luke 11:28

It’s time for me to take God out of the background and pay attention when He speaks. He knows what is on my to-do list, but He also knows what’s more important.


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