That being said, after a few hundred individual customer conversations throughout the course of the day, when my shift is over, I am done. My needs at that point can be summarized in one two-word sentence: Quiet, please.
It’s caused a few problems for me lately, because my people contact doesn’t end when I clock out of my shift and then walk out the grocery store doors. Most evenings I have church-related gatherings to attend, either a mid-week service, a home Bible-study group meeting, or a training class of one type or another. While I enjoy them all, my ability to sit and listen to people talk, even after a break for a quick meal and a cup of coffee, is very limited. I After about 90 minutes at the most I simply have to get up and leave the continuing conversation and head for home.
People would probably understand my preference for limited communication at library-level volume if I took the time to explain it to them, and to the ones who have asked, I have done so. But the majority just look at me with raised eyebrows and questioning glances when I rise and run, surely thinking that I have a limited supply of patience, passion, or hunger for more of God. It’s even become a joke between a couple of us; when my ninety-minute deadline approaches, one friend in particular looks at first his watch and then at me, laughter on his lips as he whispers to me that surely it is time for me to go! While I struggle sometimes with arriving places on time, when it comes to the moment of departure, I’m rarely late!
Thankfully, God understands. I love the fact that He speaks to me in a still, small voice, often using visual clues that speak soundlessly to a connection we have about a topic. His ability to communicate in ways other than verbally is one of the attractions of our continued relationship; it excites me to see how He’s going to deliver a message to me each day and entices me to come back repeatedly for more. With all of creation at His beck and call to do His talking for Him, He uses it in ways that astound and amaze me.
It seems that my quest for quiet ends each day with the setting of the sun. I rise the next morning, ready and eager to relate to people again, especially God’s Son!
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge…Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”
(Psalm 19:1-2,4) NIV)
(Psalm 19:1-2,4) NIV)