Questions like, "Did you pick up your room like I asked you to do?", "Did you brush your teeth?" and
"Where are your shoes that I asked you three times to put on?" are met with a roll of the eyes or an, "I forgot.", or the ever popular, "I didn't hear you.". How about when they not only roll their eyes but also stomp off grumbling. You stand there looking at them wondering why they can't just listen and obey. What is it that makes them just tune you out?
When Melanie was young I was at my wits end. She never listened to me. She required numerous requests to get her to do even the smallest of tasks. She was such a cute and happy little girl but she never paid attention to anything I said. After her older sister Crystal was diagnosed with dyslexia, I worried that Melanie may also have it. She was having some problems in PreK completing tasks. Dreading what they would find, I courageously had Melanie tested. I wasn't sure I was up to the extra stress and tears of another child with a learning disability. She was diagnosed with "audio discrepancy". This is a big name for what is the inability to focus on more than one task at a time. She was unable to process more than one request and if she was watching TV or engaged in something else I could just forget about her hearing anything I said. That's right moms and dads, there is actually a name for some of those annoyingly disobedient brats, uhmmm I mean precious little children who never seem to obey the first time. So after some therapy to retrain her processing and for me to learn how to make my requests so they were heard and understood my wits were saved.
Now, snap forward with me to present day. The tables have turned and now it's me driving someone close to their wits end.
"What do you mean we are going out of town this week?!"
"You have a meeting tonight?"
"We have dinner plans tomorrow?" I spout out my questions with astonished tone and disbelief. My questions are met with the same answers once again from my oh so patient and loving husband.
"Honey, I told you that."
"Yes, we discussed it."
"You know you never listen to me."
I would like to claim that I have audio discrepancy myself but I'm not sure he would buy it. Do you think you can get it when you are an adult? No, I must sadly concede to the fact that I just do not pay attention sometimes when he is talking to me. Yes, poor Gary is quiet witless now thanks to me.
It's not that I don't want to listen to him. I do hear him but I just don't really listen to all that he has to say. Frankly, he goes into WAY too much detail sometimes for me. For instance, I ask, "How was your golf game today Babe?" He answers eager to share ALL about it, "On hole one I shot a par. On hole two I hit my driver a little left and out about 20 yards from the green. Chipped that up with my wedge and then putted in for a birdie. I was out of bounds on hole 6 but managed to save par." And so it goes for most of the 18 holes. How does he remember all those details? Good grief, I just wanted to know what his blooming score was. Spare me all the intricate details please. All I really "listen" to is the final score most of the time anyway.
Sadly I often find my relationship with God to be the same. I know His voice. I want to listen. I really, really do. I want to know what He expects from me and what His next plan for me is. Some days I find myself a bit too busy with my own agenda and what I am already doing than to really be still and listen to what He has planned for me. Somedays I hear him but I'm not really listening to the details. Thankfully, like Gary, God is very patient with me and my inattentive ways. He loves me more than I can begin to imagine. He keeps pressing in with the details of my life regardless of my need for a hearing aid. He longs to lead me through every day if I will listen and obey. He longs to do for me more than I can ever hope or imagine.
So forgive me Father for our one-sided conversations and please help me to be a more attentive listener!
Oh, and if you would be so kind as to help me later today while I listen to Gary's details of today's golf game, well, that would be great! Amen
"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27