Who am I listening to? Something I heard in a news segment, a podcast, in line at the store? Something someone read and told me about? Am I listening to my own thoughts? I once biked a long section of trail in the days before satellite radio or music services or widespread cell service. That day I covered 60 miles, hearing only (mostly) the crush of tire against gravel, and the incessant stream of thought in my head. It was maddening to be left alone with only my own voice.
As I read through these chapters, I notice how frequently the Lord speaks. Call the words of the prophecy good or bad as you see fit, but in the end it is truth. The Lord says … the Lord has spoken. When I have the word of God at my disposal, am I listening to him?
Lord, while I can meditate on your word, so much noise competes for my attention. I am curious what one person says about burnout … for the better part of an hour, I stream a cadence track in my ears … sometimes, I get lost (so lost) in scrolling through posts and stories–snippets and tidbits leading me like bait … or maybe I get caught up in a book, a plan, a project. Like a child whose thoughts chase the next moment, I hear your voice, but do I listen?
You built a reservoir between the two walls
for the water of the Old Pool,
but you did not look to the One who made it,
or have regard for the One who planned it long ago.
12 The Lord, the Lord Almighty,
called you on that day
to weep and to wail,
to tear out your hair and put on sackcloth.
13 But see, there is joy and revelry,
slaughtering of cattle and killing of sheep,
eating of meat and drinking of wine!
“Let us eat and drink,” you say,
“for tomorrow we die!”
14 The Lord Almighty has revealed this in my hearing: “Till your dying day this sin will not be atoned for,” says the Lord, the Lord Almighty.
15 This is what the Lord, the Lord Almighty, says … (Isaiah 22:11-15a, NIV, emphasis added)
Am I listening for your voice, Lord? Your word in my hands … and now I understand how one can walk away (from his reflection) and forget what he looks like.
Did the prophecies arrest the hearts of the hearers? Did what God said sound like life, direction, purpose, plan? (16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17, NIV, and I hold fast to your statutes, Lord; do not let me be put to shame. 32 I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding. Psalm 119:31-32, NIV)
Lord, help me to be a better listener, to be still at your feet, to revere your word. When I leave the house, I take small provisions for the errand: a tumbler of water, a wallet, keys, a pen, reading glasses, etc. When I go out to exercise, I wear the right clothes for the activity and the right shoes for endurance. Why are my heart and mind not as prepared?