“Breaker, breaker two one, got your ears on Blue Darter?” Some of you know what that phrase is all about, to others it is a mystery. Grandpa Kindred was a CB’er (a Citizen Band Radio Enthusiast) long before it became a fad in the 70’s. From his basement he’d listen and talk to the static laced voices of folks from around the county and truckers on the nearby highway. It was a whole other world with strange codes, unique words, and “handles” for names. For the uninitiated, that strange phrase we started with could be interpreted as, “Excuse me Channel 21, Grandpa Kindred (AKA Blue Darter) are you there? Can you hear me?” God, in a way, once had a similar conversation.
We are told in 1st Samuel 3 that “Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord before Eli. And word from the Lord was rare in those days, visions were infrequent.” (1 Samuel 3:1, NASB95) We are also told, “Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor had the word of the Lord yet been revealed to him.” (1 Samuel 3:7, NASB95) So, one evening as Samuel lay on his bed, he heard a voice calling his name. Three times he ran to Eli to see what was needed. After the third occurrence Eli figured it out and told Samuel to say to the voice, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” Now, it is instructive that it took three times for Eli, God’s priest, to figure it out, but that’s grist for another day.
A fourth time the voice called out. “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:10, NASB95) God then proceeded to prophetically tell Samuel about His judgment against Eli and his corrupt sons. While that terrible message could also teach us much, it’s not our focus. What is in view is that moment of connection between God and Samuel.
The question isn’t whether God is speaking. The real question is if we are listening. Several times over, perhaps more than is recorded, Jesus ended a statement or parable with “he who has ears to hear, let him hear.” The question wasn’t whether his audience heard his voice but did they really understand his meaning. Listening is so much more than simply hearing. It is connecting in a deeper sense. Many see God’s works and read God’s words every day, but few are really listening.
So what about you? Got your ears on? Perhaps all that is needed is to recognize God’s voice and invite Him to speak to you. As you pick up the Bible in the morning and turn its pages, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” As you listen to a pastor or teacher dive into God’s word, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” As you take in the beauty of a flower, the colors of the dawn, the majesty of the mountains, the power of the ocean, the persistence of a glacier, the innocence of a child – “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” When your heart is moved with compassion towards prayer – “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.
“10-4 good buddy. Keep the shiny side up and the bugs off your bumper. Lambchow’s 10-7.”