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Listen Slowly

“My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart.”1

Writer Charles Swindoll once found himself with too many commitments in too few days. He got nervous and tense about it. "I was snapping at my wife and our children, choking down my food at mealtimes, and feeling irritated at those unexpected interruptions throughout the day," he recalled in his book Stress Fractures. "Before long, things around our home started reflecting the patter of my hurry-up style. It was becoming unbearable.”

"I distinctly remember after supper one evening, the words of our younger daughter, Colleen. She wanted to tell me something important that had happened to her at school that day. She began hurriedly, 'Daddy, I wanna tell you somethin' and I'll tell you really fast.' "Suddenly realizing her frustration, I answered, 'Honey, you can tell me -- and you don't have to tell me really fast. Say it slowly.’ "I'll never forget her answer: 'Then listen slowly.'"2   

How many times do we find ourselves overwhelmed by all of the different commitments we have on a daily basis? Far too often, we allow the busyness of life to consume our time, energy, and attention making us lose sight of people or things that are truly important. This includes the most important thing… spending time with our Heavenly Father.

God longs for a close relationship with His children. He enjoys the time we spend talking to Him through prayer and listening to Him through Scripture. But if we are focused on the busyness, we will easily miss what He is telling us. He speaks to us constantly, not only through His Word, but through His Holy Spirit which is always with us.

The next time you find yourself rushing from here to there, working on deadlines, or just doing what needs to be done, stop and take a moment to listen slowly.


1. Proverbs 4:20-21 (NIV).

2. Bits & Pieces, June 24, 1993, pp. 13-14.

Today's Encounter was written by: Crystal B.



All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.