I’ve often been a bit intrigued by the idea of a town crier. How did you get the job? Was having a strong, loud voice it?
Who decided what news was to be shared? A king/queen? Some town official? Was it only decrees about “do this”, don’t do that”?
What if you didn’t hear?
Worse perhaps, what if you heard, but you didn’t listen?
I talked a bit about this a few weeks ago in worship. Without repeating the entire message, I would revisit my new appreciation for Charles Schultz.
In the Charlie Brown universe, adults make nonsensical noise…”Wa, waa, wa, waa, wa, wa.”
I am convinced this is indeed how my own children hear me most of the time.
Easy for me to make fun and act all exasperated at them (as I did during the message), but what if I sit down in the wilderness of Lent and consider this may accurately describe how I hear God?
How often has “love God, love neighbor” fallen on my ears as “wa, waa, wa, waa, wa, wa.”?
I can hear, but do I pay attention? Do I make a conscious choice to change? Do I value others at least as much as I value myself? In other words, do I allow hearing to become listening?
“Let those who have ears to hear”, Jesus says. (here are a few: Matthew 11:15, Matthew 13:9, Mark 4:9, Mark 4:23)
Ears to hear. Ears that listen. I’m working on it, but there is a great deal of competing “noise”.
Again, perhaps that is one of the great gifts of wilderness time…less competition for our attention.
Every time, I get out in the middle of nothing and look up at a night sky on a clear evening, I am again amazed by the number of stars I see. They are always there, but it takes getting away from what blinds me to see them.
Hearing works the same way. Especially since it seems the most important voices aren’t the ones that scream, but are the ones that whisper. You’ve got to be close and pay attention to hear them.
So, today, I am going to focus on speaking less. I am going to seek out quiet. I am going to practice listening.
I wonder if I will again hear, “love God, love neighbor” as the invitation it is?
Life is better together,