I realize that the Red Solo Cup has become famous for a whole other set of reasons but God allowed this little red cup to remind me of a powerful lesson this evening. I've recently been reading more on the spiritual disciplines in particular, "The Celebration of Discipline" by Richard Foster and "Sacred Pathways" by Gary Thomas. These readings have reminded me of the forgotten spiritual disciplines of solitude, submission, simplicity, etc. As I drove to retrieve hot fudge sundaes for my family this evening I made the conscious decision to remain silent as I drove. No radio, no music from my phone, no air conditioning humming in the background, windows down, ears open listening for something that I would have otherwise missed. As I sat in the drive thru that was wrapped around the building, I listened. As strange as it sounds, the silence or at least the absence of the normal background noise became deafening. I heard chatter from other cars, barking dogs in the distance, and then suddenly the unmistakeable sound of an empty cup rolling around on the ground.
I realize that the sound of a red solo cup rolling around in a parking lot doesn't seem significant at first glance. However as I listened to the sound of that cup rolling around I was reminded of the passage in 1 Kings 19 that referred to the voice of God as the, "still small voice". Too often our lives are filed with noise, background noise, useless chatter, televisions always on, music always streaming, our ears always blocked from the "still small voice".
What would you hear if you stopped talking? What if you and I committed an entire day to just listening? I'm confident that we'd hear so much more than just a red solo cup rolling around in a parking lot. What if we heard the plans that God had for our lives? What if we heard a word about our next job move or struggling relationship? What if we heard from God about our next move with our struggling teenager?
Let's try it right now. Take a few minutes and just be quiet. Turn off the television, put down your phone, shut the computer off and just listen. Let me know what God speaks to you!