Listening to God

I sometimes think we forget to listen to God because we think his time is spent talking to the truly important people. The saints. The mystics. The prophets.

We have it in our minds that God speaks our language and that if he wants to speak to us he’ll literally knock us off our horse like Paul and tell us to get our act together. The Bible stories of our youth have imbedded in us the notion that a voice will come from a burning bush or from the clouds, and that the voice will speak only to privileged, bearded old men like Moses, David and Job.

But God speaks to us all. The only difference between the bearded clan of the Old Testament and us is that they heard, and they answered. We don’t know the names of the nameless who never heard, or those that heard but never answered, precisely for that very reason.

These old men heard, though, because they listened. To hear, one must listen. And to listen, one must be silent. Often we take silence to mean that God is silent. We are uncomfortable with the absence of noise, and jump at the first opportunity to create it.

Silence, however, is simply the beginning of conversation with God.

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