I am a listener. I am not the gabby one. I can hear SO MUCH when I stay silent and focus on listening.
We have two ears and only one tongue in order that we may hear more and speak less.
I shall retell a story from an earlier blog about an acquaintance I had at church. One day as I was going up the staircase, she was going down. The conversation went kind of like this: “Hi Laurel, how are you?? Blah blah blah. Did you know that blah … blah … blah …” and as I looked at her waiting for my turn to talk, she finished with, “ … blah … blah … blah … well talk to you later.” And she disappeared down the stairs. I was left with my mouth gaping. I laughed and continued on my way up, wondering if she realized that I hadn’t said one word to her.
A wise old owl lived in an oak; the more he saw, the less he spoke;
the less he spoke, the more he heard; why can’t we all be like that bird?
Besides listening to the words and meanings that people are trying to express to you in speech, there is so much more to be an attentive listener for. Just this morning, as Ted and I were getting ready for the day in our bedroom that faces the back yard, I heard the sweet sound of children’s voices. I hushed Ted and made him listen. It was the neighbor kids playing in our back yard. It was the sweet sound of Spring! After a long cold and silent winter, we finally have peeks of green plants and the lively voices of children playing outside.
It’s easy to entertain some people. All you have to do is sit and listen.
At work we use a chime system for different alerts. When a patient arrives in the front waiting room, there is one tone that alerts our pre-op staff that another patient has arrived and we can get them and get started with their case. Two beeps mean a patient is done in the operating room and I can go get them to take them to recovery.
The first step to wisdom is silence; the second is listening.
Since Amanda moved into her apartment, I have had her text me every morning when she gets up. The small text chime my phone makes tells me that she is awake and is up in her wheelchair. The other morning she decided to call me instead of text. A ringing phone at 6am usually means she is sick, or stuck, or needs assistance. The jolting sound of the phone had my half-awake body stumbling out of bed to find the ringing house phone as panic quickly raced through my body.
A winner listens; a loser can’t wait until it’s his turn to talk.
So what about listening to God? Some people don’t think He exists – they say they don’t see Him – or hear Him. I say – Are you listening? Are you so busy, like my church friend, doing all the talking TO God? At work, when I was a new employee, I didn’t always hear the 2 tone chime. It took practice. Now I can be busy with another patient, and yet I hear that chime every time. And even Amanda’s morning text; I used to wake every morning when I heard it. Now I can hear it in my half-sleep and know she’s safe,
and fall back asleep. If you’d like to hear from God, try listening. You might have to stop what you’re doing, or practice your listening skills. You may have to shush some other noises and focus on what you hear – and like the sweet sound of children’ s voices in the yard after a long cold winter, you may hear God talking to you. You don’t want to wait until He has to call with bad news, like Amanda’s early morning phone calls, that will have you stumbling out of bed and scared at what the call is about.
John 8:47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
Proverbs 2:1-5 My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.
John 10:27-28 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.