I listen for a living. I’m a conductor of music, so I rely on my ears to hear. I listen for common tones and for dissonance; for notes out of tune and cut-offs that are together. I work hard at listening. Some of it is a learned behavior, over time you get better at listening. With experience, you get to hear those things that aren’t quite right. And when it’s right, it’s beautiful.
Our lives are filled with sound. Everywhere there’s noise. It’s not just white noise, sometimes it comes in blue and red and pink and black. At home the TV is normally on. Have you noticed that the commercials are always louder than the show? I thought they fixed that with some law, but I’m beginning to think that the networks didn’t get the memo. Add to the mix a conversation, the dog barking at something, the phone ringing, the distant ipod, the cuckoo clock, the rustle of papers. Well, you get the point. Sometimes it just gets downright noisy. In the midst of all that, sometimes I want to have a conversation with someone in the room, i.e. Jan, and it’s just hard to hear. I’m beginning to think I really am getting older and hard of hearing. But I remind myself that I listen for a living.
Then there are the times Jan begins telling me something and turns to walk out of the room. That’s when it really gets hard to hear. Speak, turn around, and then begin to walk away. Add the additional volume on the TV during the commercials and it’s no wonder she thinks that I’m beginning to lose my hearing. But don’t tell me I’m losing my hearing, I listen for living!
This past weekend Jim came to tune a few notes on the Worship Center piano that had gone out of whack. It was crazy out of tune. By gently turning the pin, the beats, or fluctuations in pitch, were taken out of the sound. He heard them, I heard them. But many people do not. I remember the first time the process of tuning a piano was explained to me; I was lost because I didn’t hear it. Over time, I have learned and can now tell the difference. Sometimes it drives me crazy because I hear it; it is so loud when it’s not right!
There is a difference between hearing and listening. You can hear lots of things but you may not listen to any of them. Lots of noises are around us, but only until we begin to listen will we be able to identify what they are.
We serve a God who speaks. By His nature, He speaks. The question will always be, are we listening? Remember, it’s one thing to hear, it’s another thing to listen. How do you hear the voice of God? I believe it is a learned trait. Over time, as we walk with Him, we learn to hear His voice. He speaks through His Word the best. Learn the Word of God and you will hear the voice of God.
Listen! Can you hear it?