Thursday, March 8, 2012

Truly listening

My husband and I received a wise bit of advice from a gentleman several years ago.  This individual was the type of person who had to attend many events – dinners, receptions, meetings – and he had made the decision to listen to the other people with whom he was seated.  Once introductions were made with tablemates, he simply let them talk.  He did not jump in with his own examples, he did not interject his version of a similar situation and he tried his best not to interrupt with his opinion.  Instead, he listened.  He listened to other people – in this case, strangers.  He told us he tried to do the same thing with family and friends, but that was more difficult.  There were shared circumstances and interests, but he still did his best to listen.

What if we did this with God?  He is so much more than family or friend, so there would be so many shared circumstances and interests.  God numbers the hairs on our head!  What if we really and truly try to listen to God?  Not jumping in with our own examples, or interjecting our own version of the story, or interrupting with our own opinion – but listening.

The prophet Elijah expected God in much the same way we do – in a big, burning bush kind of way.  I Kings 19:11-12 says  “Then he (Elijah) was told, "Go, stand on the mountain at attention before God. God will pass by."  A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, but God wasn't to be found in the wind; after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn't in the earthquake; and after the earthquake fire, but God wasn't in the fire; and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper.”  (The Message)

A gentle and quiet whisper.  It takes effort to listen to a whisper.  Focus.  Determination.  And the desire to truly hear it. 

What is God whispering to me today?  What has He been whispering for a long time that I really haven’t heard?  And what I am going to do to listen?

Take the time.  Focus.  And, understand that the words of God often come from others.  God’s desires for what He wants for me and what I can do for Him become clearer when I listen. 

There is a lot of noise in this world – more than we can even imagine.  Figuratively, it is loud out there – a true cacophony.  Weed through it – and find the gentle and quiet whisper of God.

I love CeCe Winans!

Psalm 81:13a   "Oh, dear people, will you listen to me now? (The Message)

Choose Joy!