Be Silent, Listen!
Silent and listen have exactly the same letters. One is an anagram of the other.
Not only are they inter-related, they are also inter-dependent. One can’t listen without first being silent.
Not too many people today listen anymore. In my classes, I have to sing and dance (sometimes stand on my head, or eat fire, or walk on burning coals) to make my students listen. Except for a few—the outstanding ones, those who make me want to keep teaching—my stunts are all for naught.
When there is so much noise outside and inside of us, we can’t hear what another person is saying or feeling. Worse, we can’t hear God.
Listening to God is like listening to anyone; before we can hear Him, we must be ready to listen. If we want to hear God speak, we must be quiet and be focused on what He is saying.
Prayer is one way we converse with God. We can’t hear what He says to us, totally missing out on His grace, unless we shut out the chaos around us and focus on Him.
Reading the Bible is another. The Bible is one of the ways through which He speaks to us.
Whether praying to Him or reading His Word, we have to make a deliberate choice to be silent.
We live in a terribly noisy world. Everywhere we go, sounds and distractions compete with our minds, submerging our thoughts below the surface level. In this milieu, it is not easy to be silent.
William Arthur Ward, American author and editor, wrote:
We must be silent before we can listen.
We must listen before we can learn.
We must learn before we can prepare.
We must prepare before we can serve.
We must serve before we can lead.
Words I wish I had written.
"Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.” Matthew 7:24 (NLT)