By Welby O'Brien
“Good news: Our hearing can improve as we get older.”
“I SAID, OUR HEARING CAN IMPROVE AS WE GET OLDER!”
“Oh, good. How?”
Glad you asked. 🙂 Pondering this lately, I asked myself 2 questions: 1) How does God speak to me? And 2) What gets in the way of me hearing Him?
A few weeks ago I flopped down very frustrated, pouring out my complaint to the Lord and “prayed” (aka politely told Him what I wanted Him to do). Suddenly it occurred to me: Have I paused to ask, “Lord, what do YOU want?” It was a stark and humbling realization that I had NOT been listening, nor had I even consciously considered it.
Now thanks to a yellow sticky note on my desk, I am regularly reminded to ask Him what He wants… and to listen. Still a work in progress, but my moments of being consciously receptive to God are becoming delightfully more frequent.
Here are three things that are helping:
1. Deal with the stuff that gets in the way of me truly WANTING to hear God. Do I need to check my priorities? My attitude? Inventory my relationships?
2. Make the time and TAKE THE TIME to hear what God has already been speaking to us for thousands of years… my Bible, a treasure just sitting on the shelf like an unopened gift.
3. Push “pause” on my perpetually preoccupied mind, and reprogram it to be more CONSCIOUSLY RECEPTIVE to God throughout the day and night. Mind and heart. At the end of the day, I want to reflect on all the surprising ways God spoke to me. (And I actually heard.) Maybe through a hug, a song, a sunset, a tree, a kind word, a flower, fresh air, a Facebook post, singing birds, a disappointment, a pet, laughter, a storm, a promise from His Word, an answer to prayer, etc. God speaks to each of us uniquely in a special way, and what a joy to start having little private “pinholes to heaven,” as I call them.
The good news is that it IS possible for our hearing to improve. But first we need to choose to listen.