Are You Listening

Back when the telegraph was the fastest method of long-distance communication, a young man applied for a job as a Morse code operator. When he arrived, he entered a large, busy office filled with noise and clatter, including the sound of the telegraph in the background. A sign on the receptionist’s counter instructed job applicants to fill out a form and wait until they were called. The young man filled out his form and sat down with the seven other applicants in the waiting area. After a few minutes, the young man stood up, crossed the room to the door of the owner’s office, and walked right in.

Of course, this made all the others wonder what was happening. They whispered among themselves that no one had been summons yet. They thought that the young man who went into the office would be disqualified because he did not follow directions.

After a few minutes, the employer accompanied the young man out of the office and said to the others, “Gentlemen, thank you very much for coming, but the job has just been filled.” The other applicants were infuriated and demanded an explanation. “We followed the rules and we didn’t even get an interview. He was the last one who came in for the job, didn’t follow the rules, and now is rewarded with the job. This is not fair.”

The employer said, “I’m sorry, but all the time you’ve been sitting here, the telegraph has been ticking out the following message in Morse code: ‘If you understand this message, then come right in. The job is yours.’” The employer went on to say, “None of you heard it or understood it. This young man did. The job is his.”

This story makes me wonder, how many times are we listening for God’s voice? He may be trying to speak to us through His Word, a sermon, a song, or a friend. Are our ears tuned to His voice? Are the distracting noises of life making it to where we are not hearing God?

Notice a couple of things about the story. The owner never said that the one who got the job was the smartest. Nor did he say that he had the most experience or wore the best clothing. We know he was not the first one who showed up for the job. But the reason this young man got hired was that he was listening for the right voice. Somehow, he had eliminated all distractions and outside influences. While everybody else was engaged with other conversations, however worthwhile they may have been, they missed the main message.

I have noticed that during the last few years, I do not hear as well as I use to. Many times, I may hear someone speaking, but I cannot understand what they are saying. It is not that I mean to disrespect the person, nor is it that I don’t value what they are saying. It is just that I am not comprehending what they are saying. I have found that what helps me the most is when I look at the person. Most of the time when I am looking at the person and listening to what they are saying, I am fine. I believe it is the same with God. I need to be looking toward Him, listening for Him to speak to me (Psalm 121:1). It is sometimes easier to look toward the problems we have or the next project coming up (Matthew 14:30). We will hear and understand better if we turn to Him and listen.

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