- Debra McInvale
Hey! Are You Listening to Me?
[See the RESOURCES section of this website for two free downloads: 10 Points to Consider in Rating Your Ideal Relationships and a Checklist of 10 Ideas for Deepening Your Relationship with God.]
Once upon a time, I had a student who taught me the value of listening. She taught me by default. I will call her Alice.
Alice drove to my weekly painting class from another city over an hour away. She came late for the morning class then stayed with me all afternoon to attend the evening class. And the entire time she was with me she talked.
Actually, she monologued. Johnny Carson was a comedic pro at monologuing. Alice, well, she was nothing but aggravating. She talked. I half listened. I talked. She didn’t listen.
It was a challenge to teach the other students over her talking. I clearly remember one class. I was heartbroken over the unexpected death of a friend. Alice kindly asked me what was wrong, but before I could explain my pain, she started in talking about her own.
Alice needed someone to listen to her and to show they cared about what she had to say. I get that. We all need people to listen to us. Active listening. Face to face, eyeball to eyeball listening. It proves we care.
Listening seems to be a much-undervalued skill. It demonstrates that we care about a person and what they think, feel, believe. Listening to half a sentence doesn’t count. Sorta paying attention to a conversation doesn’t count. (Morton and I are living proof of that!)
We will never get to know another person well if we don’t take the time to listen. True communication demands we listen as much, if not more, than it requires we talk. And if strong relationships require communication to grow and remain healthy, don’t we need to listen to each other to make them work?
Be still and know that I am God.
Psalm 46:10a ESV
Which brings us to God. You knew it would, didn’t you!
How do we communicate with the Lord of the Universe? Prayer is simply having a conversation with God. Nothing more complicated than that. But conversation is more than talking – it’s talking AND listening. And we expect Him to listen to our prayers, don’t we?
But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
Psalm 66:19 ESV
If you and I do all the talking, we are only monologuing. Would you agree that too often we approach the Lord as a magic, wish-granting genie or a cosmic, red-suited Santa Claus? We take Him our lists of wants and needs then wait for Him to come through. That’s not enough.
Are we attentively listening to Him enough so that He knows we care about Him? Are we actively listening to Him enough so we know what His answers to our questions are? What He cares about? What He expects of us? How much He cares for us? How He longs to spend time in our company?
If we honestly desire a deep and personal relationship anyone, especially with the Lord, me must listen. God is always listening to us! He hears every single word we say or even think.
How about we make a point of listening for God to speak to us this week?
Hugs and blessings,
Dear Lord, please speak to me! Help me to slow down, get quiet, put down my stupid phone, and simply sit in Your presence. You are more important than anyone or anything. I long to hear what You have to say to me. Amen.