Posted in fear, gratitude, life, priorities, Scripture, sovereignty of God, Trials

Listening

Serve only the Lord your God and fear Him alone. Obey His commands, listen to His voice, and cling to Him.” Deuteronomy 13:4

It seems that everywhere I go, bells are ringing.  Bells are incredible instruments.  At Christmas, they joyfully announce the arrival of the Christ child.  A week later they peal in the New Year.  Sometimes their message is one of sorrow.  In a week or so we will observe the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attack in New York.  Around the nation, bells will toll mournful as we grieve the loss of so many lives. Many churches ring their bells on Sunday morning, inviting, reminding, and urging people to come to worship.  Yes, bells are still an important part of our culture.

The bells I hear though are totally different.  In fact, I’m not sure bells describe what I hear…but for sure something is ringing…in my ears.  They call it tinnitus—I call it annoying.  I’m not sure when it started by it was ears—uh, make that years, ago.  It is mainly in my left ear, my bad ear, and 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there is this ringing sound.  Sometimes it is louder than others—sometimes softer but is always there.  Some people even say it sounds like crickets…or even cicadas.  All I know is that I sure wish it would stop.  And that’s not all.

I also have the gift of floaters, also, in my left eye.   Hmmm…left ear, left eye, left-handed.  Is there a connection here?  So, you may ask, “What are floaters?”  In the optical world they are small pieces of something that float around in the fluid that fills your eye.  They are sometimes dots and sometimes strands but all the time they too are annoying.  I notice them most when I look at a bright computer screen…there goes one…there’s another…or at any kind of white or bright background.  And, like the ringing, they are always there.

There are many proposed cures for the ringing…none seem to work…and there is a fix for the floaters, but it involves sticking a needle in your eye.  I remember a childhood rhyme about a needle in my eye and it didn’t sound good then and it doesn’t sound good now.  What am I going to do?  Well, so far, the best trick is to…ignore them both.  I am learning to ignore the ringing and I am learning to ignore the floaters.  Oh sure, it takes practice, but I am learning to deal with it.  They never totally go away but with a bit of practice, I can zone out the ringing and stare past the floaters.

Learning to ignore ringing ears and floater eyes is a good thing but I also am learning that it is not a good thing to ignore everything.  Remember that red engine light…not the orange one…the red one…uh, don’t ignore that.  How about the speed warning you set one day in your gadget rich new car…the one that says, “Slow down?”  Probably shouldn’t ignore that either.  Reminder of your anniversary on your calendar? Nope.  The alarm clock in the morning? Not that either.  You see there are things you can and perhaps should ignore and there are some you just should pay attention too.

When I was growing up, I learned not to ignore my Daddy’s voice.  He would call, “Dewayne, come here.”  My response was a prompted, “Yes, sir.”  He would wait just a few seconds and ask, “Are you coming?”  I would respond again with, “Yes, sir.”  And he always, always responded with, “Make me know it.”  He was making sure I was hearing and responding to his request and not hearing and ignoring it.  It has stuck with me all of my life.  Make.Me.Know.It.

My other Father, my Dearest Father in heaven, wants me to respond to Him too.  He doesn’t shout, in fact, sometimes He whispers, but I have found that if I will intentionally listen, I can hear Him.  Moses, the guy who parted the Red Sea, wrote in Deuteronomy, “Serve only the Lord your God and fear Him alone. Obey His commands, listen to His voice, and cling to Him.” Sounds like a good plan to me.

If I am wise, I will respond with a “Yes, Lord” and never give Him cause to say, “Make me know it.” I say that not because of fear, but because of respect.  You see I obeyed my earthly father, most of the time, because I loved and respected him.  And, that is also true for my Dearest Daddy.  He is worthy of our deepest love and respect. Let’s make sure our hearts and ears hear the sweet whispers of heaven. Let’s not miss it when He whispers, “I’ve got this.”  Bro. Dewayne