“In the circle of successful living, prayer is the hub that holds the wheel together. Without our contact with God, we are nothing. With it, we are little lower than angels, crowned with glory and honor.” Conrad Hilton in his autobiography, Be My Guest.”
This quote was one of the first things I read this morning. I was surprised. I had no idea that that Conrad Hilton (think Hilton Hotels) had written an autobiography, or better yet, that he was a prayer warrior. Believe me, if I had known he had written an autobiography, I would have been using parts of it to teach my students every year as we worked on our autobiography unit. I often use quotes or portions of books when I teach: Ben Franklin – Fredrick Douglas – Eli Weisel – Roald Dahl – Maya Angelou – Taylor Caldwell – various presidents (yes, even President Obama for those of you who are wondering) and, not to mention, pop culture idols (Michael Oher, I Beat the Odds). Nothing like using the words of successful people to motivate students. So Conrad Hilton, I will be adding one more book to my bucket list as soon as I finish this.
I know I have said this before, but I still miss teaching. I liked teaching about writing – which is weird because my first year of teaching – I remember skipping all the writing portions of the English book. It made me uncomfortable. They didn’t teach me how to grade writing in my course work during college…then again…maybe I just wasn’t listening that day. I wasn’t the greatest student (I think I mentioned that a few times in class – if any of my former students are reading this). Eventually, it became one of my favorite things to teach…especially when we were talking about VOICE. Every writer has a voice and watching students develop their voice was always fun.
“Then the LORD spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice.” Deut 4:12
Moses is wrapping things up in Deuteronomy. He wants to make sure that this tribe of people that he has been in charge of for the past 50 years, remembers what is important when they get to the Promised Land. He knows they depend on him, and he knows that he won’t be with them as they enter this beautiful new land. In a sense, Moses is writing his autobiography, just like we write our autobiography every day. Maybe we don’t physically put a pen to paper and write, but it is recorded in the Book of Life and God hears our voice. The good news is He is always speaking to us. “It just – some of them [us] don’t hear so well,”as Racetrack said in Newsies (I think I remembered that quote right). In the Bible though, David heard His voice real well:
“The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic. The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon leap like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox. The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightning. The voice of the Lord shakes the desert; the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh. The voice of the Lord twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And in his temple all cry, “Glory!” Ps 29:3-9
God spoke all things into being. He sent His WORD to save us. He left a book for us to read His words. And if we are listening, He still speaks to us. If we turn off the T.V. – turn off the computer – put down the book, the phone, the gaming device, and maybe we can find some time to be still. Can you hear the silence? Let that slide by and listen to His voice today. When we are in contact with God, writing our autobiography with Our Father’s Forgiveness, Grace and Love, the inflection changes in our voice – just like it changed the consistency and confidence of Conrad Hilton’s voice.