This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.
Cell phones. Voicemail. Email. Newsfeeds. Facebook. Computers. Apps. 4G. Twitter. Our world is awfully loud and instantaneous. We can literally spend an entire day without speaking out loud yet remain active in the business of the world. We know what’s going on in government, world affairs, Hollywood affairs, and in the life of the person we barely know but friended them on Facebook anyway. We can have relationships with people we have never met; shop for items we have never seen, and learn a language without ever leaving our living room. Wow.
While this may be the way of our world, it is not the way of the spiritual life. God doesn’t have a cell phone, doesn’t email, twitter or have a Facebook account. As nice as it would be to get a text message from God that explains the plan for our lives, that’s not going to happen. No, our journey with God involves more stillness, quiet, and is more relational.
As we know, the greatest skill in developing a relationship with another person is listening. Listening to someone allows us to discover who they are. We become aware of their needs, their wants, and their dreams. It helps us to understand where they have been and sometimes helps us to know why they are where they are in this life. So, too, is listening the greatest skill in the spiritual life. To have an intimate relationship with God, our loving Creator, we need to spend time together. When we come to God in prayer – both in petition and in silence, we strengthen our relationship. Hearing God can come in our silent meditation, in our worship services, in a conversation with another person, during a walk, in a piece of art, in the words of a song, and in our reading the words of Jesus in Scripture. Through listening for our Creator’s voice in our lives, we get to know God, which leads us to love God, which in turn, leads us to trust God. This trust transforms us and then transforms the world.