God gave us one mouth and two ears. Should we listen twice as much as we speak?
Posted in , May 21, 2015
“I don’t understand,” Gabriel said.
He and I were in our homeschool classroom working on fractions. Finding least common denominators made my son’s small face color red.
He sighed and I explained again. Then we worked through another problem. And another. But Gabe’s one-liner, “I don’t get this,” ran straight through my teaching.
“You’re not understanding because you’re not quiet,” I finally said. “You can’t listen and speak and understand all at once.”
Gabe grimaced. The boys and I talk regularly about how God gave us one mouth and two ears. We wonder if that means that He would like for us to listen twice as much as we speak. I’m not sure. But thinking about it reminded me of my own relationship with the Lord.
Often I need to go to the Lord for encouragement. For wisdom. For direction. Life is faithful to present circumstances and situations I know that I’m not qualified to handle on my own. I desire a lead from the Lord. But lately I’ve been busy. It’s May and there are end-of-the-year things and there are start-of-the-season things and the overlap of the two has me running like mad.
I haven’t been consistent in spending time with God, and it’s harder to recognize His voice.
Busyness is loud and hearing through noise is difficult.
I love to consider God’s call to boy Samuel. When the Lord wanted Samuel’s attention, He chose to speak into the silence of the night. He didn’t speak through the din of daylight. He spoke when Samuel was resting–when his world had gone quiet and still.
God is God. He could have spoken over distraction.
But He didn’t.
And when I need to hear the Lord’s voice, I can put myself in a quiet position, too.
For me, a quiet place is time away from the rest of the world. It means time set aside to read the Word, to pray, to settle my spirit and make myself ready to hear. It means creating and defending the opportunity to sit with Him with a heart that’s open wide. It means eliminating the rush and clamor that is common to life and directing my attention, devotion and affection heavenward.
It’s the deliberate decision to position myself in a listening place.
Gabriel sat quietly that afternoon and listened as I worked through another math problem. When I finished, I handed him the pencil and he completed the next problem on his own.
“You got it, Gabe!” I said.
Gabriel grinned that grin that hits my center. “Thanks,” he said. “I guess listening works.”
“Yes, sweet boy,” I said. “I think so, too.”
One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called Samuel. (I Samuel 3:2-4, NIV)