As many of you know, my wife, Julie, coaches NCAA water polo for Azusa Pacific University. So during competition season, when she is coaching most Fridays and Saturdays, I take a large portion of the parenting. It becomes quite chaotic as you can imagine. There are times that it is incredible, then there are times where it is hard. It might seem odd to some, but I actually enjoy it.
See, I have two older kids- adults really. They are twenty-four years of age. Then, I also have two five year olds. The other night I was sitting at the table with my twenty-four year old daughter, enjoying a meal with her, while my two young boys sat at the couch watching a movie. The movie was quite loud, and I struggled hearing a pivotal piece to the story that my daughter was sharing. Internally, I thought to myself, “gosh, it is hard to hear her.” But I pushed through, and yet still struggled to listen.
I was thinking later in the evening how I wanted to listen to her, yet it was hard because of the volume of the movie. Then, I laughed. I came to the realization that in that moment, it was exactly like my faith journey. In the same way I wanted to hear my daughter, I want to hear God. I want to hear God in my everyday life. And I especially want to hear God over the volume of the chaotic world around me. But we all know that is hard sometimes. For example, when the cravings in our life are so loud, they easily drown out the volume of God’s whisper.
Now here is where the reality kicks in- we have the power to turn down volume of the things that distract us. I could have easily turned down the volume of my boys movie so I would not have had to struggle listening to my daughter. We could have change md rooms to be further away from the TV! In the same reality, I have the choice to turn down the volume of the cravings in my life. How? By simply saying no to things. No to things that don’t matter as much. No to things that I know take away from my time with the Lord. No to things that make me a worse husband to Julie. No to things that take me away from my family. See, listening is so hard, but yet it is so key.
Proverbs 2:1-5 says,
“My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”
We have a real opportunity to learn from God by simply listening to God. So what are you going to turn down in your life to more effectively listen to God?