Monday, May 29, 2017

Hear Me Out

School is out and I already miss my students! Some kids, like some adults, are good listeners and like some adults, some are not. This is from August 15, 2009.

My sleep patterns are out of whack with the beginning of school. Several hours after midnight last evening, I awoke and could not get back to sleep so I sat down in front of the television for a few minutes. Surprisingly, there is little offered at 3 AM when your TV lacks cable. I found myself watching a report on an Asian station, in English, about a thriving business in Japan. It seems that many citizens of Tokyo are paying to have their ears cleaned at establishments akin to nail salons. I would guess hygiene of the ears is important to most of us but I can't say I know anyone who would contract the job to professionals. This summer, I might have at least considered it. Spending so much time in the pool led to ear infections. An online search produced a number of homemade cures, most of which included alcohol and white vinegar. (Did you know experts say you aren't supposed to insert Q-tips into your ears, one of the great pleasures of life?) Nothing worked until Kayla, a former student, recommended Swimear, inexpensive drops from Wal-Mart. Within a day, the problem was solved. Kayla should open a clinic.

A number of times in the Gospels, Jesus admonishes his followers with the phrase, "He who has ears, let him ear." John, in Revelation 2 and 3, is instructed to write a very similar phrase to the seven Asian churches: "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." Taken at face value, those admonitions almost seem silly. Very few people are deaf as far as I can tell. What the Savior was saying seems very understandable to the reader two thousand years later. And yet, we still listen when we feel like it and ignore the message when it's convenient. Recently, a study was completed in Italy that compiled hearing and listening data in discos. The conclusion reached was that most of us prefer to listen with our right ear rather than our left. Any mother could have told the researchers that listening and hearing tend to be selective, depending on our interest level to whatever is transmitted in our direction. According to Jesus, the premise is also true when it comes to spiritual sound waves. We have to want to hear what the Lord is saying or it has no more impact on us than a signal without a radio to pull in the words or music. We can tune out any audio at our discretion. In certain situations, that ability saves us from being overwhelmed by competing sounds. But tuning out one sound has eternal consequences. Someday, it could lead to our being tuned out by the One we want to hear us. On one of my favorite shows, Judge Judy sometimes asks the people in her court if they have their listening ears on. It's a great line but there could be a copyright issue; I'm positive she stole it from Jesus.

Applicable quote of the day:
"Everyone hears only what he understands.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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