“listen to Him.” Matthew 17:5(b)
In my job as an attorney, I do a lot of talking. I am constantly on the go- phone calls, meetings and places that I have to be. I am giving people advice, speaking up for people, and must think and speak quickly in many situations. There is little time for listening, save the minuscule amount of time I have to edit and draft documents.
For many people, simply sitting in silence is just not a realistic option. And although I dream of the day when I can go on spiritual retreat whenever I want, God wants me to work in the world now where I can bring His love to many. I often struggle to hear Him in between my demanding job and my vocation as a wife and mother. I often wonder if there is another way…
Silent retreats may be nice, and they are certainly needed, but what about the day to day life for those of us who simply cannot get away? We may daydream about getting away, but that is not what God wants us to do.
God wants us to learn to listen wherever we are
In today’s gospel, Jesus takes Peter, James and John on a mountain “by themselves.” The other disciples did not go with them. Jesus wanted to get them alone. But as He stood in all His glory transfigured on that mountain, Peter chose to talk instead of listen. God points out Jesus to them and tells them to “listen to him.” That’s when they fall prostrate before the Lord and “were very much afraid.” But Jesus comes over to them and touches them saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.” (Matthew 17:7).
And Jesus is telling us the same thing- I want you by yourself. I want you to listen.
Sometimes we create our own busyness so we do not have to deal with our problems, or we make plans when we know that we should rest. But how can we be by ourselves with God or hear Him if we are constantly talking, constantly moving? How will we even know that Jesus is leading us apart from the world if we are not listening?
Lent is the time to change all of that. To talk less and listen more. To hear Jesus lead us onto that high mountain by ourselves so He can show us His glory. So we can listen. So we can be transformed into the person that He created us to be.
Yes, change is hard but necessary. We must be intentional about it. Transformation will not come to us if we do not follow Jesus and stop talking. Listening to Him is like taking in the medicine we need- the goodness, the joy and the peace all at once. It is taking a backseat. It is giving over control.
This week, I challenge you to speak less and listen more. If the situation that you are in does not require you to speak, stay silent. Turn off the radio on your commute to work or wherever else that you may be going. Give both people and God your undivided attention. Let it be a receiving week rather than a giving week. Receiving the words of others and of Him.
You may be surprised at what He has to say…
Let us pray
Help me to listen this week. Help me to stop myself from the things that aren’t necessary to do right now. Give me the spiritual acoustics I need to hear every word that you say to me so I can follow your will and be transformed by your mighty power. Help me also to help others to hear Him, so they too can live lives filled with joy and peace and be transformed.