Listen

Photo of a heart with headphones, plugged into the Bible

I like to listen to the radio while driving.

In both of our cars, pre-set 1 is West Virginia Public Radio.

Pre-set 2 is K-LOVE.

Those are the main two stations we listen to.

So today when I shut down my computer, turned out the lights, closed the door and evacuated my office for the last time (my employer eliminated my position due to budget issues,) I exited the parking garage, turned up the street and headed out. After a block and a traffic light, I snapped on the radio.

My husband had been listening to a CD, so I pushed the “FM” button.

At first it was tuned to public radio.

It had some nice classical music, but after a few seconds I decided I was in more of a K-LOVE mood.

I punched pre-set 2.

Out sprang “What Faith Can Do” by Kutlass, mid-song.

The stanza of lyrics could not have been a more perfect match for that exact moment in my life if I had cued them up myself in advance.

I have worked for this employer and its sister-institution since early 1999. As I leave behind my higher education career, I am determined to take this unexpected opportunity to pursue my dream of writing.

Into that backdrop, Kutlass crooned:

It doesn’t matter what you’ve heard
Impossible is not a word
It’s just a reason for someone not to try
Everybody’s scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water
It’ll be alright
Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing

I’m so glad I was listening – to that station – at that moment – and heard that stanza of that song.

What are the odds?

Well…it turns out the odds of hearing what you need to hear go up when you actually tune in and listen.

Hark!

Listen up!

“Be careful little ears what you hear.”

Today I could have driven in silence.

I could have turned on the radio but let the CD play.

I could have turned on the radio and left it on public radio.

But I turned on the radio, switched from CD to FM and then switched the station to K-LOVE.

Hearing the right thing at the right time involved a series of actions on my part.

Listening takes effort.

Listening must be intentional.

Listening is an active discipline.

As I reflect on today’s experience, my mind turns to scripture.

Scripture says listening is important.

In Genesis, we are told that “God said” and “it was so.”

In the Gospels, Jesus frequently challenges, “Let anyone with ears to hear, listen!”

In Revelation there is the repeated phrase, “Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches…”

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all want us to listen.

Listening takes effort.

Listening must be intentional.

Listening is an active discipline.

We have to train ourselves to listen.

We have to choose our sources.

It might be music.

It might be a person.

It might be scripture.

It might be the still, small voice in your heart.

Make the effort.

Listen.

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