Way back when the telegraph was the fastest method of long-distance communication, a story is told of a young man who applied for a job as a Morse code operator.  Answering an ad in the newspaper, he went to the office address listed in the ad. When he arrived, he entered a large, busy office filled with noise and clatter, including the sound of the telegraph in the background.  A sign on the receptionist’s counter instructed job applicants to fill out a form and wait until they were summoned to enter the inner office. The young man filled out his form and sat down with the seven other applicants in the waiting area.  After a few minutes, the young man stood up, crossed the room to the door of the inner office and walked right in. Naturally, the other applicants perked up, wondering what was going on.  They muttered among themselves they hadn’t heard any summons yet.  They assumed the young man who went into the office made a mistake and would be disqualified. Within a few minutes, however, the employer escorted the young man out of the office and said to the other applicants, Gentlemen, thank you very much for coming today, but the job has just been filled.” The other applicants began grumbling to each other and one spoke up saying, “Wait a minute, I don’t understand.  He was the last to come in, and we never got a chance to be interviewed.  Yet he got the job.  That’s not fair!” The employer said, “I’m sorry, but all the time you’ve been sitting here, the telegraph has been ticking out the following message in Morse code: ‘If you understand this message, then come right in.  The job is yours.’ None of you heard it or understood it.  This young man did.  The job is his.” Remember, “Hearing is not the same thing as listening.”

Scripture Reading: Matthew 11:15
“Let anyone with ears listen!”

Reflection Questions:
How are you listening to God?
What skill(s) can you strengthen to make yourself a better listener?
Why is it difficult to listen to some people?

Prayer: Holy God, I can be more helpful when I am attentive to the needs of others.  When I choose not to listen, remind me everyone is significant to you. Amen.