Elder, David Kenser, shares a daily devotion and reflection.
It’s very popular in this generation to go about with earplugs in, listening to one’s favorite music. Weather mowing the lawn, jogging or just walking to wherever they may be going. It adds to one’s personal experience but at the same time, it subtracts. It subtracts the ability to hear other things that should get your attention, like a friend calling our name or a car careening your way.
While not everyone inserts noise directly into their ear, most have a nearly constant influx of sound with the TV on (sometimes just as background noise), the car stereo, the Muzak in the stores and the favorite radio station in the workplace. Dead air is a little unsettling for our society, but it is also a medium in which we can hear life as it happens.
Have you lately stepped outside in the early morning and listened to the birds? Have you taken the time just to listen to the wind? Have you paused to listen to the sound of the city waking up? There are so many sounds sounds of real life around us that our constant manufactured noise cancels out.
Much more ubiquitous than ear plugs, is the iPhone. We sit across the table from each other with our faces glued to a tiny screen, unaware of what might be going on in the heart and soul of the person next to us because our heart and soul is distracted by a cyber world instead of the world around us.
In a spiritual sense, the Bible refers to these kinds of distractions as thorns: “Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants” (Lk 8:7), those things that cause us to lose focus on what we otherwise might see or hear. In particular, God.
Of course, there are other thorns, which are much more pervasive and pernicious such as WORRY. We are so concerned about what we are going to do or how we’re going to make it that we cannot hear the voice of God gently calling, “seek after me, I will take care of the other” (Mt 6:33).
WEALTH. We can be so consumed with making and accumulating money that we are completely distracted from the Lord’s call me to not fret over worldly riches and instead focus on heavenly treasures of infinitely more value: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Mt 6:19-20).
WANT. Our personal desires of how life ought to go, what we should become, where we ought to live, what we should have, how long we should live – all these and more can keep us from even turning in God’s direction. So distracted by our wishes, we aren’t listening to hear what God desires of us even while he implores us: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” (Rev 3:20).
Shhhh, listen. Do you hear that? Can you hear him calling? Jus’ Ask’n.