Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Training the Ear

And though the LORD has sent all
His servants the prophets to you
again and again, you have not listened
or paid any attention...

"But you did not listen to me,"
declares the LORD, "
and ... you have brought harm
to yourselves."
Jeremiah 25:4, 7

There's a huge distinction between hearing and listening. How well I know!

I can actually hear something yet not listen to it; not direct my mind towards the understanding of it.

Such is the brilliant mechanism of the ear - to hear, or not to hear. It lies at the root of my teacher's admonitions: "Kathleen, you're NOT paying attention!", and my mother's (as well every mother's) woe: "What did I say, young lady?"

Seems my ear was want of wander as far back as I can recall.

Listening. What an amazing art it is, or - rather - can be. As if a powerful cosmic antennae, all manner of sound comes and goes from the receptacles or filters my ear applies. Thus my awareness, at least on the conscious level
, is awarded to those noises I actually want to hear, while all others I intimidate into standing at a distance, or to be silent altogether.

Great is my propensity for hearing what I want to hear.

As I make my way through Jeremiah's woeful truth-telling assignment, I am reminded (repeatedly) that I bring about much of my own harm because I hear and don't listen; or I listen and don't hear. Seems I've trained my ear to tune in, or tune out both the noble and ignoble.

Without ruminating through the luggage of past journeys, I only need to reflect on the mis-steps of my life to know that my ear profits when I exercise my vertical listening device before engaging my horizontal one.

"Why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,'
and do not do what I say?
Luke 6:46

(Jesus) said, "The knowledge of the secrets
of the kingdom of God has been given to you,
but to others I speak in parables, so that,
" 'though seeing, they may not see;

though hearing, they may not understand.'

Luke 8:10


Debbie said...

Kathleen, I always come away from Sassy Granny with pearls of wisdom. You have a way of writing about common sense things like actually listening. What a concept! And yet, I can so idenitfy with you. I hear but do I really listen?

Good lesson and thank you for your guest post on Heart Choices today. I know you will bless many through your words.

Love you,

Anonymous said...

I love popping in here from time to time and gleaning your latest words of wisdom. I've heard that you're moving back up to our homeland. ;-) I know you'll love being near your family again! Much love to you...and thank you for taking time to touch the hearts of others thru your beautifully written words.

MOMSWEB said...

LOL. No coincidence that I would drop in to receive this word today. May God bless you and I HEAR you LOUD and CLEAR! LOL!

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

oh, thanks for this reminder to open my ears and listen to what He has to say. I want to be doer of the Word, not just a hearer, but I can't do unless i Hear!!

Debbie said...

How wonderful that you should write this morning about is just where I am at. In my quiet time this morning I tried to do just that... really LISTEN to what the Lord had just for me.... He didn't disappoint. I am soo excited about what He said to me this morning. I will post about it later. Thanks for sharing all of was wonderful. BLESSINGS, Debbie

Loren said...

I have to say & I promise I am not bragging that I do have the gift of listening ~ being a hairdresser, it is a must ;) but I also know how to tune you out and like you shared sometimes.... no most of the time it is when I am with my children. NOT A GOOD EXAMPLE!

What a lesson you have shared here today Kathleen as well as on Heart Choices! I must share that so many times a group of us cried out for godly women to "mentor" us and I am soooo blessed by YOU! Because although I have never met you in person, you truly mentor me day by day here in this bloggy world! Thank you sooo much my dear dear friend!

May the Lord bless you today and always

Nel said...

What a wonderful post. I get excited when I see that you have posted, because I know I will get food for the soul! Thank you so much for sharing what is on your heart. I often question myself, I am listening, but am I really listening?

until next time... nel

Rosezilla said...

Oh, I am soooo bad about "hearing without listening." I am such a wool-gatherer, then I feel bad as I realize I didn't hear what my child really said. I'm trying to learn to focus! Esp. on what God says in His Word. (I do better with the written word tho!)

Angel said...

Wow, I really needed to HEAR this. Thank you for always sharing such a good word. Love and Blessings to you!!

Terri Tiffany said...

Guilty here. (raising my hand) I do this quite often to others and for myself. But trying harder!

Karen Lange said...

This is so true, and a good reminder. I don't want to be left behind because I wasn't focused and listening.
Thanks and blessings,

Rita said...

Kathleen, we are all guilty of not listening and only hearing. How well our Lord knows us, but wants us to really listen with our hearts.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kathleen -

I'm reminded of Jesus' words that they have ears, but hear not, eyes, but they see not. Oh that I may be attuned to His still, small voice!

Susan :)

Just a little something from Judy said...

So often I listen but do not really hear because I am thinking about many other things. Sometimes my husband looks at me and says, "what did I just say?" Do you think God says that to me? Since He knows my thoughts before I even think them, probably not. This is a great reminder, to listen with my heart instead of my ears. Did I hear you right? I find your thought processes quite challenging and so inspiring.

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

This is a lesson I need to learn over and over. Just when I think I've been listening I realize I've missed the message and only heard the sounds! I need a daily ear/listening tune-up where I learn to not only hear the sounds and words but let them touch my heart and mind. Thanks for reminding me!

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Yes and Yes...such a good lesson at age 49 while still training a 14 and 4 year old.
My four-year-old often says, "Mom, did you hear me? Did you hear all of it?" Most of the time I have only heard parts...his million words in one day can cause me to tune out...oh, my, how much I have probably tuned out from the Lord,

Saleslady371 said...

It is truly a God given gift to listen; its a real act of love. Great Luke scripture!


Sonja said...

This was a 2-for-1 day with you Kathleen, both here and at Debbie's!

Once again, you nailed it here. My dad always used to say "KEEP IT VERTICAL"... it's become one of our themes for living. We stay on course when we keep that vertical line going.

Love you!


Karen said...

Great lesson here...I have been known to use "selective" hearing before...with both earthly voices and that precious heavenly Voice....

They call me "Deb" said...

What a beautiful lesson! I love the horizontal/vertical example. I truly enjoy coming here and I never leave without feeling God tugging at my heart through your words.

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

Wow, great post. Thank You Father God for the whoopin to not just hear, but listen and not just listen, but hear. Praise YOU Jesus.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

There's been a lot of noise in my life lately, making it all the more difficult to distinguish the really good from just the good. It's pretty easy for me to detect the "less than" noises.

God is calling me aside for a season and to rest in his care for me. This has been the busiest season of my life, and if I'm not careful, I'll quickly plunge into the depths of despair.

I'm so pleased to learn of Kole's arrival. I know he will be a blessing to his family in so many ways.

Love you, friend.


beBOLDjen said...

I just saw the picture of little Kole top right.... SOOOOO precious! Congrats, Granny!

LisaShaw said...

...and I love that cute little bundle of blessing on your sidebar!

Love ya.

LisaShaw said...

This is an earful of a message Kathleen. How well I know the truth in this message.

I often say there is a difference between hearing & listening. Both are important in my walk with GOD. I must hear HIM but I also must be attentive in my listening (spiritual ear) because when I hear and listen to HIM I then obey HIM.

If I only hear then I can all too often click the tune out button if you know what I mean and the times I've done that the reaping (consequences) reflects my sowing (not listening) and then oh boy!

Thanks for sharing with us and always keeping it real!

Love you.

Tiffany Marcotte said...

Thank you for blogging! I love reading your blog more than most. Your grandson Kole is a cutie! Congrats :)