Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. Isaiah 55:3a
CHARLIE NEARLY TRIPPED OVER YOUNG EMILY when she stopped suddenly in the middle of the driveway on their return from a butterfly hunt. Looking a long way up to her great-granddad’s face, her eyes were round in astonishment. “G-G-Pop, did you hear that?”
He tuned his ears to the wind and heard the echoes of his wife and daughter voicing similar words many years before—“Charlie, are you paying attention? Dad, did you hear anything I just said?”
Charlie always seemed to be out of tune with others. He lifted his head but didn’t hear anything out of the ordinary for a sun-soaked Florida morning.
“Roosters! Can you hear the roosters, G-G-Pop?”
He paused briefly, but shook his head. “Sorry, sugar, I don’t hear them.”
Emily shrugged and continued her twirling dance up the driveway. “I guess you have to have special ears,” she called back to him.
We need special ears to hear the extraordinary, to hear the Father’s voice, so often silenced by everyday concerns. When we are intentional and tune out distractions, it’s easier to tune in to God. Then our special ears perk up.
Charlie spent so much of his life making things happen, making money, making noise, he’d long forgotten how to stop and listen. When powerful people stop “do-ing,” their special ears work best.
Have you ever noticed that some people appear more in tune with the universe and their surroundings than you? Powerful people seem to stir up the air around them; their energy and drive is so potent. Often irritated by other’s slower pace, it can be a challenge for them to sit still long enough to hear a bird trill, watch a leaf fall, or engage in quiet reflection.
Playful people can find it difficult to stop and listen. They like the sound of their own voices and the happy back and forth bantering among friends. Sitting still and listening is not an easy concept for them; they always want to jump in with an idea.
Purposeful people have no problem sitting still, as long as there is a plan and reason for the action. Otherwise, their mind turns to any number of things that need attention.
Peaceful folk have an easier time tuning inward, but often do so with such concentration they miss out on conversations and scheduled activities due to their intent focus.
Take time to stop, completely stop. Unplug from the cell phone, computer, and other distractions in your day and listen. Read your Bible; listen. Kneel in prayer; listen. Take a quiet walk; listen. You’ll find your ears become special ears, tuned to God’s whisperings.
“This year I have trained myself to sit still for lengths of time. Not check e-mail. Not play a computer game. Not read, or write, or talk. When I was younger, my father had three heart attacks in one week, because he was so hypertensive he couldn’t sit still. Dinners were a race to get back to work. As an adult, I realized I was a lot like my dad, and vowed to change. I have learned to sit—still—for lengths of time. It’s been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but also the most rewarding. It’s easier now for me to drop my agenda and minister to a neighbor, to forgo my plans and spend time with my children, to listen and hear the Lord’s direction in my life.” ~ Tama
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by Linda Gilden and Tama Westman
Linda Gilden and Tama Westman are authors, speakers, and certified personality trainers who loved discovering why people do what they do. As working wives, mothers, and grandmothers, they know the key to building solid relationships is understanding the personalities. Linda lives in SC and Tama lives in MN.