The Ears Have It

Micks Memo logoThe rhythms of the calendar provide us with a time for reflection. I believe God designed it specifically for human beings to have a way to measure and value their time. He insisted that the Israelites mark specific times of the year for specific events. So even though our culture tends to be superficial in its reflections, I see real value in “taking stock” and making some fresh strategic plans as we turn to 2016.

jan 3My suggestion is to focus on listening. I know I can use this for myself. The background “noise” of life is deafening. I’m too easily absorbed and distracted by the din. It tends to drown out two critical sources of communication. We lack in our communication with one another and with God. Since good communication is the highway of good relationships we pay for poor listening by the quality of relationships.

Let’s start with God, since our relationship with Him can substantially enrich our relationships with one another. I want to suggest two steps for listening pertaining to God. First we need to listen “for” God. In the cacophony of communication surrounding us, we will need to develop this skill. It means knowing where His voice is likely to be heard and putting ourselves in those places with a listening mindset. First and foremost we need to listen for him in the Scripture. I don’t mean just absorbing facts about theology and faith history (though these are important); but listening for God’s message to me and my circumstances. It means investigating His principles and guidelines for my choices in life. We can also listen for God in the counsel with seek for our choices with fellow travelers, emphasizing believers but also realizing that God can speak to us through non-believers (He used a donkey for Balaam!). As we develop our ability to listen “for” God we will also need to enhance our listening “to” God. In this case there is an element of the will. Listening “to” God means applying what we hear by obeying Him and aligning our life with the guidance He gives. That is where we will experience the fullness of life He designs for us.

If we are listening “for” and “to” God, we will become a better listening for others. We will listen with God’s wisdom, truth, compassion and grace. It will deepen and multiply the significance of our relationships with others.

As we look to 2016, let’s be “all ears” with God and with others!

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

God bless and Happy 2016!