Use Heart, Ears, Eyes For Experiencing God

I don’t know what started my recent meditations on listening. Someone said something, I guess. But it goes with my latest meditations on gaining experience to go with knowledge.

You can’t experience God if you don’t listen to him. As Ernest Hemingway said, “When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”

I think the key word there is completely. This means that your attention is on the other. You are not thinking about what you will say. Or what the weather is. We now know that listening is done with the eyes, as well as the ears. And also with your heart–a term we don’t use as much today. It implies total awareness of the other.

This is not a new problem. Jesus kept telling his audience to listen. Then (found in Matthew 13) he quotes from an ancient source, Isaiah, “You will indeed listen, but never understand, and you will indeed look, but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are hard of hearing, and the have shut their eyes.”

I have been in numerous conversations with someone else talking with a third person. And after the conversation, the person I’m with will talk about what the third person said and I’ll be amazed at what they missed. If we can miss what a human being says to us face-to-face, how much more can we miss the whispers and nudging from a Spiritual Being whom we cannot see face-to-face.

The British playwright George Bernard Shaw summed up the situation when he said, “The problem with communication is the illusion that is has occurred.”

If you wish to experience God, then you had best follow the advice of Jesus and check your heart, ears and eyes. Make sure they are open and tuned in to God.

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