Ok, truth time, 'fess up!
How many times this month have you been told,
"I already told you that!"
"I already told you that!"
and the kicker, "Don't you remember?"?
No, clearly, I don't! I am BUSTED!
The thing is, most of the time, I THINK I'm a good listener.
For several months, I have been noticing the tendancy we adults have
of talking over each other, just to be heard.
My son says ALL adults do it!
He's adamant about it.
I've always thought that it's a shame for people to do that,
and not listen to each other better.
I mean, what's the hurry?
But in the past year, there are several occasions
where I have found myself doing it,
simply because it seemed that I was not going to be given
any break in the conversation.
Let me just say, that the results are NEVER satisfying,
I can tell you that for myself, better to not get to talk at all,
just listen, rather than have to "break-in" to the conversation.
I came across this quote, which isn't attributed to anyone that I could find.
"We were given two ears but only one mouth,
because listening is twice as hard as talking."
Can you tell I have been thinking a LOT about our need to be better listeners?
About MY NEED to be a better listener?
It's even been showing up in my time devotional time.
My time to spend in His Word, and let Him teach me His heart.
I just don't think Jesus ever drowned out the disciples to get His point across!
Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross."
For a long time (hmm...several years?)
I have been touched, puzzled, moved, and what I call "nudged"
(like the Holy Spirit is saying, hmmm, donchya' wonder what that's about?!),
with regards to the wonder of Jesus being helped by Simon to carry the cross.
I know with everything in me, it's significant beyond my comprehensions or revelation to date.
But, I pray over the years to come, I will "get" more of it!
For today, I have a couple of discoveries, and a couple of impressions
that I want to share with you.
If you are wondering what on earth this has to do with listening,
it is my hope to surprise you!
I was preparing for Bible Study yesterday, and as Easter is approaching,
I thought to jump ahead in the Gospels, to what seemed right for last night's topic,
with regards to the crucifixation.
And of course, I couldn't help but think of Simon, helping Jesus with that cross...
What does that mean anyway?
What always speaks to me, on the surface, is the obvious point,
that even Jesus was sometimes not in a position to turn down help.
Would that we could all learn to graciously accept help,
should I figure that out, I will be sure and share that too!
Sometimes I can do this well.
Sometimes NOT! :)
And beyond that, that we need to be aware that at times,
there will be a Simon in our life,
those who can be temporarily in our lives to assist by
helping us carry the burden of the cross we bear at that time.
But, while those observations have a certain merit, I have never been satisfied with this.
I KNOW there is much more there.
And yesterday I got a teensy-tiny bit of the buried treasure!
I broke out my Strong's Concordance and checked out some of the words
that seemed to pop out.
Check this out:
Simon - means to hear, to hear with intelligence, and to obey is implied. To hear carefully!
Whodathunkit? Can I just say this amazed and thrilled me?
Compelled - to be a courier, to be press into public service and, to be an epistle (message) or letter, especially as carried by a state courier or postman.
So what does this mean?
You can see that Bible is always speaking to us in layers.
There are the historical, physical facts recorded.
But there is always, always more layers than meet the eye!
Simon, (someone whose name means someone who listens with intelligence, carefully,
and with obedience), was pressed into public service to carry a message,
to BE a living espistle (sound familiar?).
My Mom says that according to the culture this occurred in, there would have been a stigma, a shame attached to the Simon's role in the crucifixion.
That's something to consider, too.
Sometimes as we follow Him, our choices look very questionable to those we care about,
whose opinions and approval matter to us.
As we puzzled and discussed this last night. We were struck with these facts:
1) That we must surrender to accept help at times. Jesus IS our example.
2) That it's really, truly important to God that we be GOOD Listeners!
Good at listening to Him, and to those in our paths,
as we daily deny ourselves, pick up our respective crosses and follow Him!
3) That as a follower of Christ, we are called to be intelligent & obedient listeners, to Him,
and to each other.
It's part of our calling to "Bear ye one another's burdens,
and so fulfil the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2",
because sometimes that is ALL we need to do, LISTEN!
4)That our calling as a follower of Christ, means that as we listen to Him,
it's a supernatural fact, that we will be transformed,
and that transformation will result in us being a Living Epistle,
a message, and a messenger!
A Message, because our life should testify somewhere, somehow!
A MessengER because we should always be ready to testify of the reason for our hope!
Not to preach, but neither to be ashamed to show the gratitude we have for Him!
For His power and mercy at work in our lives!
"And he said to them all, If any man will come after me,
let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."
So, ARE you a good listener? For me, you know,
not so good as I would like, not so good at all.
But, I AM getting better! :)