As I looked out my window I saw two birds foraging in the morning grass. One was a starling, black feathers gleaming in the sunlight. The other was a robin, with a chest round and red like an apple. The starling moved at a steady pace, walking and pecking at the ground, constantly moving. The robin, however, would take a few steps, and then stop. His head would tilt and cock, intently listening, and then he would peck the ground quickly. He would take a few more steps, stop, wait, listen, and peck. I watched for a few minutes at the two birds and their completely different methods. There didn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason in the starling’s walk, but there was intentionally and mindfulness to the robin. Finally, the robin took flight, seemingly riding on a stream of golden sunlight into the nearby tree, where he rested, a flaming jewel against the jade leaves and cerulean morning sky. The starling meandered over to a gathering of his friends and they all just kept walking and pecking, walking and pecking.
Jesus in Matthew 13:9 tells the people, “He who has ears let him hear.” He tells us in John 10:27, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
The word hear is used over 360 times in the Bible. How often to we stop to hear God? I don’t mean a quick prayer as you multitask, commuting in your car or running on a treadmill. How often do you stop whatever you are doing, and take time to be alone and listen with every fiber of your being, soul and spirit for God’s voice? How often do we obey His command to be still and know He is God?
The psalmist writes in Psalm 40:6, “I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your law is within my heart.” How can we delight God if we don’t take time to listen so we know Him and know what delights Him? How can His word be at home in our hearts if we do not hear it? We are told in Luke 8:17-18 to take care how we listen, for whoever has, to him more shall be given. God wants us to hear Him, to know Him, and the more we spend time with Him He promises to give us more of Himself. He wants to be known, as intimately as a man and woman when they come together in one flesh. He calls to us, sometimes in the thunder (Psalm 81:7), sometimes in a whisper (1 Kings 19:12-13). The God who spoke and called all into being is calling us. Stop! Listen!
I want my spiritual life, my relationship with God, to emulate that robin. I want to spend my first morning moments with Him. To begin by stopping to be wholly in the light of the Son, then listen silently without motion or distraction until I hear His voice, His directives, followed by immediate, unwavering obedience. Only then will I take the next few steps as He has led. Only then… until it is time for me to fly away to find rest nestled in Him.Him.