A farmer went to visit a friend who lived in the city. As they walked down a sidewalk, the farmer said, “I hear a cricket.” His friend said, “ That’s impossible! How could you ever hear a cricket?” The loud noise from traffic, building construction, and music blaring out of stores. The farmer said “I really can hear a cricket.” Walking to a large concrete planter, he lifts a leaf, and finds a cricket. Then he says to his friend, “Watch this.” He takes some change from his pocket and throws it on the sidewalk. Immediately, everyone stops and looks around. The farmer says, “You see, it all depends what you’re listening for.”
What are you listening for, Abram? Is it old age, retirement and approaching death? Or are you listening to a Voice that is making outrageous promises to you and Sarah that you’ll have more descendants than the stars of Heaven or sand on the seashore. Are you listening to God who wants you to make a long journey and He hasn’t told you where exactly the journey ends? And what about this talk about Sarah having a son? Are you really going to listen to God? Aren’t you too old to believe all this? It is kind of crazy. Yet, you made a decision to listen, believe and follow this Voice, this God. As you listen, you change. You and Sarah have a son and God shows Himself faithful to His word of promise. You begin to see the world differently. You even plead for the innocent. Abram, you are starting to sound and act like God, all because of who you listened to.
Peter, you listened to the Christ. It’s been a battle, to be honest. You could have listened to your family and remained a fisherman. You could have stayed on top of the mountain, relishing the glory of seeing Jesus as He truly is, the Father’s Son, the Chosen One. Staying on the mountain might have offered echoes of that glory, but you would not hear the living, present voice of Christ. So you follow, you begin to learn, maybe painfully and reluctantly, the need to let go and no longer listen to anyone but the Christ. He alone has the words of everlasting life. Like Abram, you’ll make a long journey, all because you continue to listen to His voice.
What are you listening for this Lent? What are your ears open to receive and act upon? It’s easy to drown in the many voices that hit our ears from television, music, or politics. They seem to be endless, loud and at times angry. What you listen for and let into your soul gradually affects your outlook on everything and everyone. But, where does it lead you? Lent focuses on one Voice who is always speaking and wanting us to listen. His voice will lead us on a journey to conversion that leads to new life, new vision, and new hope. Lent is a reminder of the need to be obedient, which is much more than simply following an order. The word means “to have an attentive ear for the call.” It’s a longing for Someone who has won your heart and seeks your wellbeing in so many ways. Gradually a person becomes so attentive to the voice of Christ that all sounds which promise so much and give so little are ignored. The voice of Christ touches our heart and soul to transform us into His holy people.
So, what or who are you listening for this Lent? And where is that voice leading you?
Is it closer to the Christ and others?