By Gina Gaudet
“Listen! Listen, God is calling. Through the Word inviting.
Offering forgiveness, comfort and joy.” (Tanzanian hymn)
As we age, our hearing can diminish. A common complaint is that it is hard to hear someone talking when there is a lot of background noise. You have to focus your attention, engage your brain with great intent and sometimes even watch what the lips are saying. It takes a lot of energy.
Likewise, listening to God can be hard when our minds are crowded with the noise of daily life, the “noise” of the thousands of random thoughts that occupy the brain. Just as it is easier to hear someone in a quiet space, it is easier to hear God when the mind itself is quiet.
One thing that is easy to hear is pain, which is the language your body uses to get your attention. Depending on where it is in the body, pain can be telling you something about your life. For example, pain in the legs may refer to your life path. Arms talk about your work. Back? Burdens you may be carrying or trying to ignore. Stomach? Do you perhaps have something in your life you just can’t stomach? A gentle focus on the pain, with quiet breath and an open mind, can reveal God’s answer to those situations.
Do you have a major stressor or challenge in your life? The invitation here is to relax enough to listen to your thoughts, and not the continual thoughts of stress or fear, but the thoughts of the very moment, where you are. Whether that is in the kitchen, the office, in the car or at the store, trust that God is on your side and is waiting for your mind to quiet enough to hear the answer. Breathe deeply, slowly. Just that simple action can tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, which quiets the body and mind. This is opening you to divine guidance.
Once you have opened your heart to trust and to listening, you will be surprised at the signs and assurances that come into your life. Once, a friend told me, she was needing an answer for a painful situation. Then, stopped at an intersection of two roads, she looked up at a small billboard. One word on the board caught her eye – I cannot recall the word; it was really quite mundane – but it was the word she needed. It triggered a train of thought that revealed the answer she was looking for.
Listening is an act of spiritual intention. Focused, purposeful, it opens mind and heart to needed guidance.
Listen! Listen, God is calling…