“And I heard a voice saying, ‘Come and see,’ and I saw.” — Johnny Cash, “The Man Comes Around”

Mark 1:35
Psalm 40:1-5
Psalm 46:8-10
Matthew 6:5-13

You see it so often. Two people furiously clash over some words, meanings or intentions lost on the path of communication. It sounds like Capitol Hill during an election year. But it could be closer than you think: classmates discussing a project, fraternity brothers checking expense accounts, or any man and woman fighting over semantics. Both parties desperately want the other to hear them, to receive their words and meaning.

Yet neither listens, choosing instead to speak and then shout more loudly. And with more volume.

The volume is the problem. We can’t hear. We won’t listen. Maybe we don’t want to because of our obsession with our agenda, our rights, our wants, and our selves. Maybe we’ve not learned how.

But just as we choose not to listen to others in a dispute, we prove deaf to God. We present to him our complaints, Christmas lists, and project assignments. We ask questions, but their nature is rhetorical, or in times of distress, accusatory.

Do we ever stop to listen to his response? Do we want a response, or do we look only for a result?

Prayer, talking with God, suffers because we don’t listen. According to ancient documents, God spoke to people. He spoke to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jacob and Moses. He spoke to prophets. What’s more, these men listened more than they spoke. We have them talking to God, certainly, but the documents place greater emphasis on a speaking God and listening people.

So what’s changed? Why do we not listen for God, instead of talking at him?

Who has time to listen? You don’t dial God up, and then hear his voice. This listening is more like a waiting on him to show up, and this takes time, and we’ve got things to do. Doesn’t he realize this is the 21st century, the modern and globalized world where time is money? There’s not time to stop, to listen for anything or anyone.

But a god, God himself, speaks, and this is no small matter. He speaks to us, to you and me personally, individually. Is this not worth the time it takes to tilt our heads toward him, away from our days and agendas? God speaks. Will we listen?

Do we look for God’s response, or simply results?
Do we want to hear what God has to say?
How does one listen?


© Revolworks 2006