What do you hear right now?
Is it children playing and laughing (or squabbling)? Office noises – keyboards clicking, phones ringing, conversations going on? On a construction site, hammers and drills, and saws screeching through the air? At the airport, muffled conversations in every language, constant announcements over the intercom, the roar of jets taking off and landing? Is the television on, blaring mindless programs, or the radio playing R&R, R&B, country, rap….? Traffic roaring, trains blaring, sirens rushing by? Or do you hear the deep silence of an empty home, punctuated only by the ticking of a clock and the hum of the refrigerator?
How often to we stop to listen? I was sitting in traffic yesterday when I heard a siren, then watched as a fire engine blasted through the intersection, lights flashing. For once, everyone had stopped and left a clear path. Too many times I have pulled over to allow an emergency vehicle to pass unobstructed, only to helplessly watch as other vehicles remain in the path, oblivious to their surroundings, causing the emergency vehicle to slow or even stop until they can safely proceed. I can’t help but say a quick prayer for whoever is waiting for help to arrive. Is this ignorance of our surroundings indicative of our world today? To me, it’s a good analogy for the ways so many people are living, so immersed in themselves, they don’t have any idea what is going on around them, completely self absorbed.
Turn off the radio or TV, pull out your earbuds, lay down the phone / tablet / laptop. Step outside, go to a park, and LISTEN. What does life sound like when your attention is outside of yourself? Can you hear birdsong, some small animal in the bushes, squirrels chattering? Can you hear the rustle of the trees as the breeze flows through them? Most importantly, when you aren’t wrapped up in yourself, can you hear the Voice of GOD, or are you too busy to listen? The LORD wants us to talk to Him, to have real conversations with Him. Think on it. That means that not only do we pour out our problems and our needs to Him, it means we listen to Him. Why do we need to tell Him our hurts and desires if He is truly Omnipotent and Omniscient? We talk to Him to indicate our willingness to hear what He has to say for us and our situation. He always – always – hears us, and He always answers…. just not necessarily the answer we want to hear. Talk to Him anyway. Start a dialogue with Him, and prepare yourself for listening for His answer. It can be yes, or it can be no, or it can be wait (my least favorite answer!)
“Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to You and wait expectantly.” – Psalms 5:3 NLT
“For GOD is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. Do everything without complaining and arguing…. ” – Philippians 2:13-14 NLT
Turn off, unplug, do whatever you need you do in order to listen to and hear GOD, and be prepared for His Will to be done instead of yours. It ain’t always easy, but definitely worth it! Listen to “Walking On Water” by NeedToBreath, and then LISTEN to GOD!
Photo credit: The American Historian – The Art of Listening