Why does this become so much more difficult for us. In the cacophony of modern life silence is so rare, something that is almost surprising when we encounter it. Solitude often must be planned, including "going somewhere" and then remembering to turn off the cell phone. Then no matter how far we have traveled, how carefully we have planned there will almost always be an intrusion of some sort, construction over a hill where we don't see but still hear or a plane overhead. No wonder the whole "listening" thing seems a dying art.
But the bigger problem, of course, is our fear of being alone with ourselves and our God. The noise, the activity is effective at keeping thought at bay; at keeping introspection to a minimum, at denying time to speak to and be tended to by the Spirit of God who longs to give us good gifts.
At the end of the day we have to look back and see that we have not truly trusted God. We have schemed and plotted and planned and maneuvered and justified anger and cutting ethical corners. If we are quiet and introspective we might have to face our less than heroic actions, our frequent selfishness in wanting things now, in believing we are justified in behaving selfishly.
Have you ever read an article on a crime and shaken your head with the comment, "What were they thinking? Wouldn't have been far more practical, reasonable, sensible to...get a divorce, change jobs, stay away from crooks, stay sober, avoid drugs....a thousand and one things that can lead to trouble and that, in moments of consideration nearly anyone could see the pitfalls and probable outcome and weigh that against alternatives. But we are all guilty of precipitous actions, though fortunately most are not likely to land us in prison. Most cause harm we never intended and did not see coming because we did not even look at the ever widening circles of pain that our words and actions can cause.
So, Lord, today help me to say to You, "Your servant is listening" because when I do that I am far less likely to react selfishly out of my own pain. Help me to say to You, "Your servant is listening," because when I don't I am all too careless with the frailty of my brothers and sister. Help me to say to You, "Your servant is listening," because you are always willing to guide me in ways that bless me and others. I trust you, Lord, and I long to be listening with ears that hear and observing with eyes that see. I can only do that with the Spirit of God as my teacher and my guide. Thank you for being ceaselessly willing to give me that blessing. AMEN
1 Sam 3:10 Samuel said, “Speak. Your servant is listening.”