“Quickly, How Are You?”

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It’s Saturday, so here are some thoughts for our single friends. A version of this post first appeared in July 2012 on SingleMatters.

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A friend of mine years ago used to call me regularly late at night and unload her problems on me. I was an exhausted single mom with a thousand things to do after my little one went down for the night and this was just what I didn’t need.

This friend would drone on and on about everything wrong in her life. She would cry and complain and question the goodness of God. Then, after 30-45 minutes of this she would say, “Well, I have to go, but quickly – how are you?”

My response was always, “Quickly?  I’m fine.” Whether I was or not. And then we would hang up.

You know what? She was a load.

I know there’s a lesson here about appropriate boundaries and reciprocity in friendship and all that. And yes, I probably should have sprung for the few bucks extra each month to have caller ID. Suffice it to say, we’re no longer in touch, though I wish her well. (I feel a little bit bad about that, but I do get more sleep these days.)

Can I point something out here? Contrary to what some would have you believe, singles do not have more hours in their day just because they’re not married. That’s a myth.

Singles still have the same 24 hours in their day just like the rest of the human race and have to squeeze everything in, often multi-tasking like crazy just to stay “even”. Single parents? Same thing, times infinity.

Let’s be honest. Every Christ follower knows prayer is important and praying is a valuable spiritual discipline. But when you’re single and frazzled, there’s a tendency for prayer (when you can “fit it in”) to turn into something of a monologue. It’s about us and our needs and “If it could be Your will, would You please [fill in the blank]? Amen.”

But when we don’t turn down the volume on our noisy lives long enough, when we don’t pause long enough to listen for His thoughts toward us in return, you know what DOESN’T happen?

  • God doesn’t get His feelings hurt.
  • He doesn’t pout and withdraw.
  • He doesn’t love us any less.

Here’s what really happens when we don’t find time to listen to God?

We miss out …

On a peaceful spirit,

On wisdom whispered into still hearts,

On a new awareness of His overwhelming love for us,

On blessed re-centering of priorities.

Look at it this way. Have you ever been with someone who was smitten with you, who thought you were charming and funny and just wanted to be around you all the time?  Do you remember (or can you imagine) how pleasurable this was (or could be)?

God feels that way about you.  He always has and always will.

The Bible is full of references to how much God loves us and how far He went – and continues to go – to prove His love for us.

Wouldn’t you love to know what He’s thinking about you right now?

One time during those crazy single parenting years, God impressed this thought on me, “I won’t charge the time you spend with Me against your energy account. I will replenish you.” I never forgot that.

This much is certain: God will never think you’re a “load”.

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About Diane Rivers

Diane is a native Floridian whose career as an FBI Agent got her transferred to the North. She's retired from that gig now and "repurposed" as a freelance writer, author, and sometimes poet who blogs about the bumpy, bone-jostling ride of her “workaround” life. She loves Jesus, her family, black coffee, kayaking, biking, and hiking, and she looks forward to eternity with the One who will make all things beautiful. (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

12 thoughts on ““Quickly, How Are You?””

      1. 😀 I was raised Roman Catholic and I’m still a practicing. Your posts really resonate with more on a spiritual level! Amen just seemed like the only response to this one. Good job!

  1. Thanks Diane! Wise, and beautiful words here. I especially liked: “wisdom whispered into still hearts.” :Luther always said that he tried to spend more time in prayer on the days he knew would be especially busy. Prayer is one of those yokes that carries us!

  2. Good post, Diane!  Thanks for your time this morning.  You are very special to me. Marge

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