I recently watched an episode of Dr. Who (Peter Capaldi / Series 8) in which the Doctor opens with a long soliloquy about listening. In fact the episode title was “Listen.” The title alone started me thinking, “How well do we listen?” Do we stop and listen to the sounds of nature around us? Do we stop to listen to the sounds of the city? Do we listen to our spouse, parents, children, or teachers? Do we listen or just hear words and background noise?
There is a story that circulates about President Franklin Roosevelt, who often endured long receiving lines at the White House. Apparently he complained that no one really paid attention to what anyone said.
On a certain day, at a reception, he decided to put his complaint to the test. To each person who came down the line and shook his hand, he murmured, “I murdered my grandmother this morning.” Invariably, the guests responded, “Marvelous! Keep up the great work. We are proud you are our President, God bless you, etc.”
Near the end of the line was the Ambassador of Bolivia. This ambassador leaned over and whispered the following reply to President Roosevelt, “I’m sure she had it coming.”
Someone was listening!
Take time to listen, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; . . .” (James 1:19). Step away from the computer, set down you smart phone, lay aside the tablet, close the book, and take time and make effort to listen to those around you. Such action will show your care for them and you might even learn something new.
Take time to listen to God. He may not speak in an audible way, but He speaks through His Word. So “Be still and know that (He) is God.” Listen to Him.