I can just hear the frustration in God’s voice: “Oh Israel, if you would but listen to me! … And yet my people did not hear my voice, and Israel would not obey me. So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their hearts, to follow their own devices. Oh, that my people would listen to me!”
I want to follow God, to listen for God’s voice, but so often my ego, my fears, my own misguided notions get in the way. That’s when I start chasing my personal idols that separate me from God.
What does it take to really listen? First, I to have to stop whatever I’m doing. I have to be still. Then, I have to put aside my own assumptions and judgments. I have to be open to the unexpected. I have to pay attention.
What’s the connection between listening and experiencing the love of God? Listening — whether to God, to a friend, or to a stranger — brings me into alignment with the one I am listening to. I am no longer struggling to be heard, or to have things go my way. Maybe I will learn something, or gain a new understanding. Maybe I will simply be present for what is. And I will come into a deeper relationship with God and my neighbor.
When I listen, I return to God. When I return to God, I love.
Friday, March 04, 2016