“Oh, that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways!” (Psalm 81:13 KJV)
The more I am around children, the more I use the word “listen.” When I teach: Please listen. Listen carefully. Listen to the instructions. Look at me and listen. I have learned that nothing strains my patience and dances on my last nerve like being ignored.
When my students don’t listen, the classroom gets chaotic, I get frustrated, we lose order, and we aren’t productive. Yet, I have to understand that these are children. Distractions are constant, and from their perspective, it’s more fun for them to do what they want. My voice is often interrupting what they want to do, telling them to do something they don’t want to do.
If I am frustrated at being ignored, I have to wonder how God feels when I ignore the nudging of His quiet voice, and then complain when my heart becomes chaotic and disordered. He stands at the door of my heart, always ready to speak. Put down the phone. Put away the work. Close the laptop. Block out the noise. Ignore the list of things to do for just a while. Stop stewing about that problem. Please listen to Me. I have something for you that is more important than all of that. I have wisdom and guidance for you… lessons you need to learn… changes you need to make… Will you please listen?
When I listen for what God is trying to say, His words never fail to bring peace and order to my life. He teaches. He directs. He counters all the distractions with sweet comfort and communion. Those voices and vices will never stop tempting us to do what we want. Constantly among the noise is a quiet, steady voice that only a hungry, reaching heart can hear: Please, listen!