Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings, and the years of your life shall be many. Proverbs 4:10
Recently, my family and I were sitting around our dinner table reminiscing over a movie we had just watched. And one of the younger ones recited a quote that was just a bit off from what was actually said.
In the movie, one of the characters made a reference to another movie entitled “Silence of the Lambs.” And since this flick is in the “not appropriate” category for all of us under 50 in my house, this child was unfamiliar with it. So he called it “Silence of the Sheep!”
His mom and I busted out laughing, dating ourselves of course. He didn’t get it when we corrected him with “it’s Lamb!” To him, that detail was inconsequential; a lamb is a sheep, a sheep is a lamb!
That’s entertainment and really no big deal in the grand scheme of things. Yet, listening is a big, big deal. Especially where God and life and purpose is concerned. I think it would be easier if I could just see His face. Then, I would know exactly what to do and which way to go.
Funny thing, though. The people I am around all the time, like my family and friends, say things like, “Did you hear me, and are you listening” all the time.
Truth be told, hearing and listening usually mean two different things. To hear is “information went in my ear.” To listen is “communication has affected my response.”
And according to today’s Proverb, there is a promise associated with “receiving,” i.e., “listening.” The years of my life will be many.
You don’t have to believe it, but I personally have done my fair share of hearing without listening. The outcome stinks. And since I have no clue how to hang the stars in the sky or teach birds how to fly, I’m good with listening and living instead!