Thursday, January 2, 2014

Listening Well

Last night, I couldn’t sleep so I decided to watch a movie. After mindlessly searching for a title that would seem appealing, I settled for one called Forever Strong. It was about a Rugby player and a coach; but the theme that grabbed my attention and consideration was the idea of “listening well.”

This morning the concept was still floating around in my mind. The thoughts mainly took the shape of questions: do I ever listen well? Do I ever listen well to my Lord? And if I ever do, under what circumstances does it happen?

The questions brought me to the conclusion that I listen to His voice best when I write. That is when I hear His guiding thoughts the clearest. That is when I feel closest to Him. That is our moment together. Intimacy grows and I feel closer to Him. Then I immediately thought of my life a year ago…and my feeling was confirmed...

I usually write somewhere between 10-15 posts in a month. In a good month I can write as many as 20+! About one year ago, specifically from October 2012 to February 2013 I wrote only 2 posts each month. TWO! It was a visible slope. Then, in March I wrote 5 and the trend continued upwards since. 

What was happening in my life back then? Simple, I was overtaken by an obsession. It used to happen a lot to me. I would become consumed by something that I thought was a pressing need that must be attained, and until the object of my obsession was materialized, I could not think or breathe anything else. At that particular time, I was obsessed with finding a house. And the pattern of my writing, or lack of thereof, maps the process very clearly. We began the house hunting adventure officially in October, and it was precisely in mid-March that we secured one.

I’m not going to describe in detail the state of my mind during those months because it is embarrassing. In the midst of this, I experienced the loss of my Father as well, which made matters all the worse. I’m just going to say that at that time, I was distracted, stressed out, panicky, sad and overtaken by a sense of deep loneliness. I felt lost and I couldn’t find my compass…I had misplaced it under the pile of rubbish and waste being excreted by my obsessive behavior.

And it’s not that I was not listening. O, I was listening! I was listening to the lies of the enemy who filled my ears with irrational despair and fear. I was just not listening to the whispers of my Lord whom, throughout the whole ordeal kept on speaking to me nonstop. I couldn’t hear Him above the noise. I was not tuned into Him. I was not listening well.

The circumstances that followed shortly after buying our new house represented a huge wake up call to my soul. Transition, illness, job loss and other issues surely did the trick and the Lord captured my full attention once again. He cleaned up the cluttered chambers of my heart, let His light shine in again and pointed me to where my compass laid forgotten on the floor. He grabbed it and lovingly put it in my hands for me to hang on to tightly once more. 

He is refocusing and re-calibrating my navigation system. I trust that He is doing the same in your life today so we can all listen to Him...listen to Him well.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.  John 10: 27-28

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