July 22, 2019

Last Thursday, just before the Bible study began, Norman told me about his new hearing aids and how everything sounded as if his head was in a bucket. I recommended he have them adjusted.

Friday, as I was standing in line at Tractor Supply, Norman and Sandra walked up behind me. That’s when Norman explained that the reason his hearing aids weren’t working as well as he hoped was because he hadn’t turned them on.

Realizing all the time and effort I put into the Bible study and that Norman had missed the greatest Bible study in the history of Bible studies because he hadn’t turned on his hearing aids, I decided I needed to be as pastoral and compassionate as possible.

I turned to the cashier and said, “Ma’am, I know this man. I’m not sure you should trust him. Ask for his driver’s license, fingerprints, a blood sample, and a DNA test before you take his money.”

After ringing up Norman’s large bags of seed, the cashier asked if he needed help loading the bags in his car. When I said I’d load his bags, the cashier smiled, looked at Norman and said, “Mr. Robbins is just trying to get a tip.” Norman said, “Yeah, he’s like that.”

The point to this rambling story is that Norman didn’t hear because he didn’t do what was necessary to make hearing possible. He didn’t turn on his hearing aids.

While I would like to complain, I have to admit I do the same thing.

Instead of actively listening for God, many times it’s as if I’ve turned off my hearing aids. That’s because when I do hear God’s message, I am called out of my self-righteous, know it all attitude to a place of humility, gratitude, and service. It can be very annoying. But this is exactly what I need.

If you ever find yourself refusing to listen to God because you may be called out of your comfort zone, you are going down the wrong path. Sure, there will be times when God calls us to service, to forgive, and to risk, but if it’s from God, then it is always the right thing to do.

Take a few moments to clear your mind and truly listen for God’s will for your life. Simply repeat the words of a little boy, long ago who wanted to know his purpose. This is found in 1 Samuel: “Now the LORD came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:10)

God is always speaking, the problem is that too often we don’t turn on our hearing aids, and when we fail to do this, our lives are anemic instead of full. God wants your life to be full. All you have to do is really listen.

Prayer: “Speak, for your servant is listening. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

I hope Norman turns on his hearing aids this Thursday because I am pretty sure he’s going to hear the greatest Bible study in the history of Bible studies. I’d hate for him to miss it.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.

Tom Robbins