Shut Up and Listen

May 14, 2018

The other day I was sitting in front of my favorite coffee shop, enjoying the sun, and watching cars drive by. As I was doing this, a thought entered my mind. "Where are all these people going?" I started to expound on this thought, wondering if they were off to see a loved one, going to work, heading home. I began thinking what life must have been like before modern transportation was invented. When people lived at a slower pace and didn't need to get from A to B in a restricted time frame. But let's face it, that's the culture we live in. We have learned to become more and more bombarded with work, activites, and many of us seem to think of being 'busy all the time' as impressive and wear it as a badge of honor. In all this hustle and bustle, do we ever take time to be still, to stop and listen for God's voice?

God communicates in silence. It's that still small voice that speaks to our hearts, and it's hard to hear that voice when we are preoccupied with our own daily shenanigans. We think, 'if there were only more hours in the day, I could get so much more done!' Usually, God will give you little, and if He finds you are faithful in the small things, He will give you more. If we can't be faithful with the time we have to listen for God, what makes us think that having any more time in our day would make a difference? Also, you're not getting any more time in your day regardless, because well, science. So you are stuck with 24 hours in your day. How are you spending it?

I've been reading 'Shadow of the Almighty' by Elisabeth Elliot (The life testament of Jim Elliot, highly recommend). In it is a compilation of her late husband's letters and journal entries. In a letter to his family, Jim wrote this.

"I think the devil has made it his business to monopolize on three elements: noise, hurry, crowds. If he can keep us hearing radios, gossip, conversation, or even sermons, he is happy. But he will not allow quietness. For he believes Isaiah where we do not. Satan is quite aware of the power of silence. The voice of God, though persistent and soft... Let us resist the devil in this by avoiding noise as much as we can, purposefully seeking to spend time alone, facing ourselves in the Word...Satan is aware of where we find our strength. May he not rob us!"

I agree with Jim on his list of three elements in which the devil uses. By filling our time with these things, we can't possibly listen, and you can't listen when you're not silent. Try it, I dare you. Next time someone is talking to you, start talking as well, (or just make a bunch of noise, whatever) and see how they react. They're probably thinking, 1) 'Rude.' and 2) 'He/She didn't hear a single word I said.' Even as you are hurrying to work, or wherever you think you must be, as you are driving there is you're radio/music on? If the only real alone time you have is in your car driving, is that time spent in silence? At this point I would say take what you can get, but in reality you should probably be managing your time better, even if that means sacrificing a half hour to an hour of sleep to get up earlier in the morning just so you can spend it in silence.

Our relationship with Christ is first and foremost. Just think of how hard it would be to maintain or build a relationship with a significant other/spouse when they literally have no time to listen to you. Sure you may spend your time in prayer, but do you shut up and listen after you are done praying, or do you pray and then go about your business? Imagine your significant other/spouse treating you like that. They talk your ear off (if they talk to you at all), then never allow time for you to speak to them. And they always have an excuse for doing so. And you soon find out that they have placed you very low on their list, putting all of life and it's activities before you. Heck, that doesn't even constitute a relationship.

Time is valuable. Silence is even more valuable. If time is money, then silence is like the investments you've made with that money. Much like stocks, if you invest in the wrong thing, eventually when things crash, you will be left with nothing. But if you've made wise investments, you will be rewarded with much more.

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