This Is The Way

When I take a step

My gaze often on the road before me

Am I listening?

Listening for God

Awaiting His guidance

Walking in obedience

Instead of my own wisdom

Are my ears hearing a word behind me

Softly

Firmly

Telling me the way

When I take a step?

 

 

 

 

 

to the left

 

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.

—Isaiah 30:21

 

 

 

 

Listen to My Voice

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It’s been a rainy afternoon—the kind that throws your sense of time off a bit because it looks like dusk at three o’clock.

My basset hound had the look about her that begged for a walk, so with leash in hand, we ventured outside.

A few feet into the yard, I became aware of the slightest sound of wind chimes delicately moving in the breeze.

Immediately, I was aware that it was quiet enough for my ears to acknowledge them.

With my mind in comparison mode, my thoughts quickly ran to an experience from just days ago.

I had been staying at a hotel near the ocean with friends for some much needed rest and calm.

The hotel had a very nice pool for its guests to enjoy, along with scheduled poolside events throughout the week.

Along with things like water games, hula hoop contests and making your own tie-dyed shirt, they also offered a game where those participating were given a card with numbers.

During that activity, everyone had to be very quiet to see if a number on their card was being announced.

On this particular occasion, my friends and I were not involved in the game.

Sitting almost at the edge of the pool deck, we were talking together when it happened—-

I noticed that the noise was gone.

Suddenly, everyone had stopped talking, listening only for the voice of the game announcer.

The significant thing to me–even then–was that I hadn’t even noticed that there WAS any noise, until it stopped.

I had grown used to the clutter of sounds around me, adapting my hearing to only selected conversation.

What would it take for me to really listen for God?

For all the noise to cease, listening only for His voice, like the delicate tones of wind chimes on a quiet, rainy day?

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My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.

–John 10:27

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listen

On Track

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How much have I trusted God today?

Have I tried to figure out situations on my own without consulting Him?

Did I listen to God’s voice in everything I did today?

Everywhere I went?

Was I really on track, traveling the road He wants me to travel?

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Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
    don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
    he’s the one who will keep you on track.

—Proverbs 3:5-6 The Message

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on track final

Before You Hear About It

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I had never heard it put like that before.

Certainly listening carefully to others is a noble action.

Today, while looking at a publication, I read that if the letters of listen are rearranged, they can spell silent.

I was shocked.

Such a simple truth hidden in a tiny cluster of letters.

To listen—really listen—we must be silent.

It even goes farther than that, actually.

We need to listen all the way through before responding to what is being said.

If we don’t, we can end up looking pretty ridiculous.

Proverbs 18:13 tells us,

“To respond to a matter before you hear about it
    shows foolishness and brings shame.”

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respond

Be Still

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Friday night, some of my friends wanted to go out to see a movie.

I didn’t want to go.

There was this compelling idea of staying home and being less busy.

Maybe even quiet.

Yesterday and today, there was a nearby nature festival with a lot of photo opportunities and things to learn.

A friend invited me.

I decided not to go.

Instead, I quietly trimmed limbs from the trees in my yard.

Not talking to anyone.

Sometimes praying.

Sometimes singing.

Trying to listen for what God might be telling me.

After church this morning, I looked forward to coming home with more time to be quiet and thoughtful.

Sitting in a chair, writing some things down as I pondered, I saw a butterfly through the window fluttering around a blooming bush outside.

I am thankful for the past two days.

Intentionally slower days.

Decidedly quieter days.

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be still

Get Some Rest

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On the way to the group meeting, I listened to the radio in the car.

It was a familiar drive to my friend’s home, so being in a sort of “auto pilot” mode, I caught glances of the early evening sky and sang along in my mind with the music.

After arriving at my destination, I enjoyed some finger foods and light conversation.

The next hours were composed of considering our individual hearts and what might be keeping us from living wholehearted lives.

Embedded in those hours was a thirty minute time frame of complete quiet and reflection before God.

As I considered what was coming to my mind, I wrote some thoughts on paper.

Thirty minutes went by at an incredibly quick pace.

Not only was I quiet, but I was basically still, as well, with only movements confined to the couch I was on.

Rest.
Reflection.

Quietness.

Stillness.

Honestly, that’s not a place I find myself in most of the time.

It is, however, a place that I think God would want me to occupy more often.

A time to hear His words.

A time to remove the rambling clutter of the daily routine to just…..listen.

Consider this passage:

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.  Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.

–Mark 6:30-32

There are times when—-

We all need to rest.

We all need a quiet place.

We all need to come to Jesus by ourselves.

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quiet place

As You Would Have Them

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It was funny, really.

But then, I thought for a second, and I realized there was much more to it.

My husband read me something that he had seen online.

Children were asked about their thoughts on marriage.

Some of the answers were humorous.

What completely peaked my interest and started my pondering were the words of an eight year old girl.

“Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.”  

After laughing to myself, I began to apply this wisdom a bit further.

Certainly people need to talk in order to get to know each other all the time, not just on dates.

We need to talk to our friends, neighbors, relatives—–even strangers sometimes.

And when we talk, we should pause and take the time to listen.

To listen to each other.

Everyone—not just boys—-has something to say if you listen long enough.

It may even take a good long time of listening to casual conversation before someone feels comfortable enough to begin to share their true thoughts and feelings on a matter.

Jesus said, Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31)

If you want to be heard, then listen.

Everyone has something to say.

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Do unto frame

Pay Much Closer Attention

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With a pen in hand, I was sitting at the table making a “to do” list for the day.

Suddenly, I became aware of the sound of an engine outside.

Living fairly close to an airport, I thought it was simply a propeller plane.

Continuing to write things on my list, the sound became loud and persistent.

I actually thought about how the engine sound was lasting too long.

After a few seconds more, I decided to go outside and see what was flying by.

Looking up, I saw the Goodyear blimp!

Hurrying back into the house, I grabbed my camera and returned to my patio in time to snap some photos before the famed airship was out of sight.

I almost missed it.

For more than two minutes, at least, it’s engine had rumbled above me.

It wasn’t that I couldn’t hear it.

It’s just that I thought it was something else.

Something common.

Something I heard everyday.

Something I really didn’t need to pay any special attention to.

I’m really glad that I finally took heed to that deep, resonant droning in the sky.

Because I did, I was able to witness something special.

If I had remained at my table, consumed with planning my day, I would have missed the opportunity and never have even known that I missed it.

 

 

Do you think this ever happens when God is wanting our attention?

Busy, with our minds on important things, we are somewhat aware of God’s prompting.

We may decide not to really listen, because we don’t recognize that it is God—

or after His persistence, we may stop what we are doing and focus on His voice.

If we fail to listen at all, we may miss opportunities…..

and never ever know that we’ve missed them.

 

 

Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.

–Hebrews 2:1

 

 

 

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blimp

Listen

 

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It was dusky dark and getting hard to see.

Mosquitoes were coming out to greet the night and it was time to be ending the walk.

A rabbit suddenly scurried out ahead of me.

A hop here.

A hop there.

Wait.

Stand up on two legs.

Listen.

Listen with those big, tall ears.

I have read that rabbits can hear very well.

In fact, they are thought to be able to hear a sound from two miles away.

There’s a lesson for me in all this.

In everything that I do, I need to be wise.

When things come up, I should wisely consider my choices.

My words and my actions.

Even my thoughts.

I don’t have to rush into things.

Just a hop or two might suffice.

I might need to stand up.

But, at all times, I should listen with my ears.

I should listen for wisdom and guidance from God.

 

 

 

Listen to what is wise and try to understand it.

–Proverbs 2:2

 

wise final