The spiritual lesson to slow down and listen comes from an observant 2-year-old child

Slow down and listen

The lesson to slow down comes from an observant 2-year-old child

Job 33:14

"For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it. He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night ... He whispers in their ears …"

Heaven is always speaking. I wish I could say that I'm always listening.

Why is it important to hear God speaking to us? It can be likened to an airline pilot and his or her connection with air traffic control; we need direction. How about the affection expressed between a husband and wife; we need relationship. Or look at the soothing effect of a mother's voice for her baby crying in the night; we need comfort.

A thriving life depends on the ability to hear the author/director/care-giver of life, He's speaking again and again but we do not always recognize it.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is tasteless, odorless and in large quantities can be lethal. Under certain conditions, lethal amounts can be found in coal mines. Canaries, (considered a sentinel species because they give warning signs of high levels of CO) were added to coal mine crews in the 1920s and thus disaster was averted.

We have a sentinel in our home. Though only two, she is a reflection of the good or the bad around her. I was eating my Cheerios one recent morning when I observed her running back and forth between the dining table and the refrigerator saying, "Hurry, hurry, hurry," with a furrowed brow and clenched fists.

As I tried to figure out what would prompt such stressed behavior, I was reminded of dinner the night before. We had a very hurried dinner with little room for communication. We then had to clear the table quickly to head out the door to an evening meeting.

At breakfast the following day, I could sense God speaking, showing me through the actions of a small child how I've been quickly approaching the lethal levels of busy. I was becoming "too busy" for a family meal, "too busy" for taking time to listen to His voice, "too busy" for the most important things in life.

I do not have potential life-threatening job conditions such as a coal miner, but my living conditions, if left unchecked, could prove to be harmful to my God-connection. A breakdown in my listening to God means less of his direction, less relationship, less comfort, less of Heaven on earth.

My prayer: "God grant me the will to slow to Heaven's pace as I heed the sentinels you send. Show me the art of listening to your ever-loving, accepting, and forgiving voice, beckoning me to come near."

Listening can also open the door to encouragement from above. The small sentinel said a few days ago, "Daddy come down here." As I stooped to her level and she put her little hand on my shoulder. With eyes squinted shut she says a prayer, "Jesus help Daddy. Jesus, Bible, Jesus, Bible, Amen."  Needless to say, I left Home that morning with my heart-cup full and overflowing.

If left unchecked, our "too busy" can eventually kill what's most important in our lives. So, let's slow down, take time to listen, For God speaks again and again, and only a few will recognize it.

Brian Carmack serves as Lead Pastor at Eastside Church in Prineville. If you have questions or comments, he can be reached This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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