Are you listening?

Forgive me another 9/11 post. At our monthly writers meeting on Saturday, our exercise was to write a 9/11 reflection. Thought I'd share it with you.

Two years after the day that forever changed life as we knew it, at a memorial service, I heard the testimony of a young man. He and a co-worker were in Tower 2 when the second plane struck. They ran from the office, unsure where to step next. Right or left? They argued as she wanted to take the elevator, but he heard a voice directing him to the stairs. He tried to convince her, but ultimately saw her for the last time in the foyer outside their office.

He listened to the voice directing him down, step by step, landing by landing, eventually to safety outside. He praised God for directing and leading him out. But I couldn't get past the question - What about her? God loved her enough to direct her too, didn't He? 

Eventually, I understood. God was surely speaking to both. But only one listened. Only one obeyed. The still small voice*. The voice saying "Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'" *

And what about me? Do I listen when I sense the leading of the Spirit? Do I obey when the direction God gives is clear? 

Not always, I'm sorry to say.

This leading may not be the difference between life and death, but it surely is the difference between growing or not in discernment and Christlikeness. He was obedient, even to death on a cross. "If you love me," He said, "you'll obey Me.

That young man is alive today because he responded in obedience to the still small voice. I want to be obedient in the big and small choices I make, not for earthly benefits, but for the simple demonstration that I love Jesus. I like to think that I'd be willing to die for Jesus. How willing am I to live for Him? 

Jesus, I ask Your forgiveness for all the times I sense You directing me, and I turn the other way. Help me to be obedient, even unto to death, even unto life. 

*1 Kings 19:12, Isaiah 30:21, John 14:23-24


Maria said...

that is really something!

Maude said...

Good message, Susan. Getting the message for the second time gives it the opportunity to penetrate more deeply.


Marja said...

Good post Susan, good listening is difficult. Jesus said: if you have ears you must listen! We have to kill a lot of outside noise to hear that small voice.
Thanks for sharing.

Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

2 great points!
We have ears - use them
Block out interference
Thanks always for sharing your wisdom.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Oh, my goodness! I've heard similar stories, how God directed a daddy to take his child to the first day of kindergarten, and he was saved from the attack because he was late to work, a mother heard an inner voice tell her to take a different route, and she was held up in traffic, etc.

I want to listen better, too. My life and other's growth may depend on it!

Excellent post!