Saturday, June 29, 2019

Are you even listening?

Many of us don't remember the process of "tuning in" a radio any longer, much less the laborious task of adjusting the antenna on top of the roof or holding the rabbit ears so the family could catch the last few minutes of a show. Our electronic devices have "auto-tune" features, allowing us to scan through various stations until one comes in with the clarity of reception that is desired, cable delivers immediate channel clarity, and web apps make it so we can find anything we want at the touch of a button. The 'art' of moving an antenna has been lost - the need to recognize the exact location on the sliding dial of your radio while listening for the voices of your favorite announcers has gone the way of digital tuning. I wonder if all this ease of 'tuning in' has done anything with our ability to 'tune into' the things God still requires us to exert a little effort to get?

Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice. Keep my message in plain view at all times. Concentrate! Learn it by heart! Those who discover these words live, really live; body and soul, they're bursting with health. (Proverbs 4:20-22)

I don't think that we have the "auto-tune" capability most of the time when it comes to God's voice - we sometimes don't know it well enough to recognize it when he speaks. In fact, most of us would probably admit to many times of "going right past" his voice because it was a "weak signal" that we just didn't take enough time to tune into! What makes that signal "weak"? It is the position of the antenna, or where we are at in the moment we are hearing that "faint signal" of his voice. In other words, how well we position ourselves to hear his voice matters! The signal that my car's GPS receives is totally beyond my understanding, but I trust that it knows where I am by the little picture of my roadways I am traveling. It is also amazing to me that it knows the speed I am traveling, the distance remaining in the journey, and the speed limit that is appropriate for the road I am on (even when I am not quite traveling at that same 'posted' limit! It is kind of awesome to have all those features available to me.

But...and this is the crux of what I want us to see...I have IGNORED the advice of the device on more than one occasion! I see road-work signs, or a plethora of traffic along that route, and then I veer from the course it has set for me to follow. As I do, it goes through this process of "receiving afresh" the signal it needs in order to "recalculate" my location and put me back on course - or at least the course it thinks I need to be on. Try as I might, I cannot ignore the constant reminders of "recalculating" and "turn right at the next turn, travel 1 mile North, and re-enter the freeway at exit number..." Why does the device keep doing that? It is because I gave it access to my life - and I am refusing to listen to what it has to say! 

I turned on the device, evaluated where I wanted to go, and then trusted it to get me there - but now I am ignoring it! Whenever I ignore it, the device attempts to recalculate in order to get me back on track because it "knows" the intention of my journey! The same is true with our Lord - he knows the intention of our journey and he goes through tons of "recalculating" maneuvers with us in order to keep us on that journey! We often ignore his voice telling us to go one way, choosing instead to go another. But...and this is the important part...his signal still comes through loud and clear when we are ready to listen! So, tune in, listen well, learn God's voice by heart! It is in the aligning of our spiritual "antenna" with his voice's signal that we find the greatest satisfaction in the journey of life! It matters if we veer off course - his voice is just trying to help us redirect when we do! Just sayin!

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