Listening

I have so much to do today. I bet you do too.

And I know we need to be productive and busy doing the “works God has prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).  So, I started out my day with a large, ambitious list that included writing this blog. Usually I sit down with several ideas of where to start but today when I settled in to write I felt a bit lost. I didn’t know where to start…. until I realized….today is a listening day.

You see, none of us, even writers and speakers, have anything worthwhile to say if we haven’t spent enough time listening.

I drive a Honda Element. I really like my little car. Since it first came to live with us we have driven it relentlessly… hour long commutes to work, to Florida to see my family, back and forth from the coast to the upstate to see my daughter, her husband, our grandbaby and friends. We have put over 150,000 miles on it in a very short time. And it is not quiet anymore. It creaks and groans and vibrates and moans and squeaks down the road, each week adding some new and probably significant sound. At first I’d try to figure out what each new sound meant thinking that maybe I  needed to have someone look at it….maybe it needed attention. But I couldn’t really take the time or resources to do anything about it so I stopped paying attention to the sounds. They have become simply a part of trying to get somewhere, relegated to background noise that I have to live with.

I had stopped listening.

Those of you who know anything about cars know that one day I will pay dearly for that because those sounds do mean something and my brave little car does need attention.

And I think it’s the same in our everyday lives. If we stop listening; to the bird’s songs, to the wind in the trees, to the people we meet in our day, to our friends, children, husbands and wives then we will  miss when they need attention. And if we don’t make time to hear the “still, small voice” then we will surely miss the miracle of God’s comfort, love, presence and leading.

Today is a listening day. It is already halfway over and I will not get much marked off my to-do  list.

But maybe listening for God’s voice and leading should be first on that list everyday anyway.

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.                                                                                                                       ——John 10:27

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