Updated: Nov 4, 2019
The first Thursday of each month is a DAWG (Day Alone With God) day for me. It is something that I look forward to each month of the year and I do my best to protect this time. It takes time to...you guessed it...to listen! This is especially true if I have only been hearing. So what is the difference between hearing and listening?
I am no scientific expert, nor am I specialist that would be able to explain the names of the parts that describe the physical complexities and intricacies of the human ear. (Once again a reminder that we are fearfully and wonderfully made ;-)). But I do know the Maker that created it and gives it function and purpose. It is recognized as a “sense” as are taste, touch, sight, and smell. Each sense:
- is a gift
-has value in helping us experience and better understand the One who gave them and all that He has made
-has a purpose to bring revelation.
-has potential to be used for good if discipline and exercise are applied
-is vulnerable and needs some measure of protection from time to time or loss of the gift is inevitable, resulting in limitations of helping us to better understand our surroundings.
Hearing is the God-given function of the human ear and is essential to audible and verbal communication. It enables us to hear sounds with our ear and reproduce them with our mouth...that is if we actively apply exercise! Speech comes by hearing words and actively practicing with our voices to recreate what we have heard.
How do we teach little ones to speak, spell, read, write, play an instrument, or learn other languages? All of these things are revealed, and when exercised and practiced with diligence and discipline will open up a world of potential to those who apply them! The gift that isn’t used isn’t the fault of the Giver of it, but of an ungrateful receiver of it.
When the function of hearing is absent, whether it be from an accident, illness, infection, or being born that way, God has made it so that the other senses given to us will be sharpened and enable us to learn, just differently. Once again, active and disciplined exercise and practice of these gifts will bring revelation and open a world of potential. Helen Keller was amazing proof of that!
Hearing alerts us to sounds around us, some are familiar and some are not. Everything we hear leads us to a response. Some of the sounds we recognize and identify may put us at ease. Others may aggravate or startle us causing us to listen more intently to determine our response. Sometimes, we may even choose to ignore what we have heard-even that is a response!
How we respond to the function of what we hear may reveal or locate whom we align our hearts with and what we value. This, is listening. Just as hearing has a whole process of natural and physical reflexes that work together to have function, listening too has a whole process of natural and physical reflexes to respond. But we also have choices and responses that involve the whole person: mind (intellect, thought, reason), will (action), and heart (emotions). These processes of hearing and listening are invisible to the human eye but are always in play wherever and whenever there is sound.
Here are a couple of my favorite sounds and how I respond to them:
-Baby’s belly laugh
This is my favorite sound because they don’t know how to fake it and my response is a smile and a giggle too! It is an honest, sincere, and authentic reflection of joy!
-Tree frogs, crickets and locusts
The peaceful sound of evening in summer and fall. It reminds me that it is time to put the events of the day to rest with a grateful heart for lessons learned and opportunities I have had.
What are some of your favorite sounds and how do they cause you to respond?
God wants us to use what He has given us to teach us and deepen our relationship with Him too. He desires to bless and that happens when we listen to Him and respond by keeping His ways!
Prov. 8:32, “Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways.”
Something to think about:
Have you ever taken a DAWG (Day Alone with God)?
When or how often do you make time to listen to Father God?
What has He been saying to you?
What is your response to Him?