Monday, March 20, 2017
Open ears, open heart
There is likely no specific way or plan for how we "listen" to God's direction in our lives - it simply happens because we actually turn our attention to him for sometimes even a fraction of a second. Imagine what it might be like if we actually took that fraction of a second and multiplied it by a thousand or a couple thousand seconds! We might actually find our hearts settling into his timing, understanding his purpose, paying close attention to his warnings, and getting caught up in the joy of getting to know him a little better! There is something to be said for "purposeful listening" - paying attention because you don't want to miss what is right there at your doorstep or fingertips. To listen with this kind of "intent" opens the heart to actually being affected - and when the heart is affected, trust is built. God is after trust - the purpose of listening is to allow a trust to develop in someone other than ourselves. When we take in the Words he brings, we are opening ourselves to the possibilities of some other answer other than our own.
Perhaps the greatest means of building trust comes in the exchange that happens when two individuals actually get to know the ins and outs of each other. No one really does this apart from listening - for your sighs even declare something about our level of fatigue, contentment, and even the depths of our hope. The words of God are everywhere, but they aren't heard with the ear alone. They are caught in the sighs of the wind, the movement of the grass on a lazy afternoon, and the buzzing of the bees busily gathering nectar from the newly opened blossoms on the plants. They are intercepted in the happy laughter of children at play and the tender tears of a broken heart weeping with deep agony over loss. They are multiplied in the melody of a song of praise and cultivated in the moments we actually open the pages of the Bible to seek out his plan. Trust in God isn't just an attitude - it is an action - a desire to focus our attention toward another other than ourselves. If we really want to listen so that we will know the joy of the Lord to the fullest extent, we need to do more than open our ears - we need to open our hearts! Just sayin!