Reading I: 1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19
Reading II: 1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20
GOSPEL: John 1:35-42

Are You Listening?

The world is a crazy place. The sights, the sounds, and the energy – all combine to overwhelm our physical senses and dull our spiritual ones. It is far too easy to get caught up in the daily grind. Many of us are so focused on the things of this world, will we hear the voice of God when He speaks?

Life in the Fast Lane

In this information age, we are inundated with garbage. Cable TV and streaming services are full of countless hours of programming that is virtually void of value. Media outlets compete for our attention with social media sites, with all of them spewing story after story of sensationalized trash. The airwaves and streaming music services play song after dysfunctional song, glorifying morally bereft lyrics and themes.

Thanks to this barrage, we have to keep plowing ahead in order to simply survive. Every day we become slightly more calloused. Things that used to make our hearts ache now cause us little concern. We slap on the blinders and put the pedal to the metal – full speed ahead!

And unfortunately, we end up missing things along the way. We go through life at breakneck speed, forgetting to enjoy the journey. And in so doing, we end up losing our connection with our God – and we don’t hear Him when He calls.

To Hear, We Must Listen

The only way we will hear the voice of God is if we stop and listen for it. At the most basic level, that means we have to pray. And know this: getting down on one’s knees in prayer to the Lord is not just for kids. Most adults could communicate better with God if they started with a much more humble attitude!

But prayer is not the only way that the divine presence speaks to us. The Holy Spirit speaks to us through the people we know and meet. We can gain wonderful insights, new perspectives, and profound observations from even the most unlikely of people! It’s wise to pay attention.

The Spirit also speaks to us through the events that occur in our lives. We’ve all heard people say, “I guess this means the Lord wants me to do such-and-such.” Or, “The Lord must not want me to go…” Lots of folks say these things as a way to make light of situations that don’t go as planned. But I suggest that we stop and take a closer look. Maybe the Spirit truly is trying to tell us something!

Answering the Call

When Samuel heard the Lord calling him, he didn’t hesitate. What will you do when the Lord calls YOU? Will you even know that it’s Him or, like Samuel, will you initially assume that it’s the voice of someone else?

The Holy Spirit spoke through John the Baptist, and two of John’s disciples heeded the call and followed Jesus. What will you do when the Holy Spirit speaks to you through the people around you? Will you listen and follow, or simply ignore the call, assuming that the words of your friend could not possibly be divinely inspired?

There is no way to know where or when the Lord will speak to us. Therefore, we must be ready to follow the call – to heed the Lord’s direction – when that time finally comes. So slow down just a bit. Take the blinders off. Stop to smell the roses. Pay more attention to the people in your life, and the events that occur. And perhaps, if you really concentrate, you too will hear the message of the Lord!

Life Applications:

What is your opinion of the news media and social media today?
How do you attempt to communicate with God? Through prayer, or some other means?
What would you be willing to set aside in order to follow the Lord?

Original article by Brandon Jubar, 2003-2021.
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