Article: Are you Listening?

I am sure all of us at one time or another have used headphones to listen to music or watch a tv show or even a movie. I use my headphones to listen to audiobooks when I am at the gym. (I use the Bluetooth when I am in my car.)

Using headphones insures that you are not bugging anyone else when you want to listen to something. However, if someone says something to you (while you are wearing headphones)… you can’t hear them.

Has this ever happened to you? First you say, “What?” Then you say, “Hold on.” You pause your music and take your headphones out of your ears and say, “What did you say?” That’s the downside of wearing headphones. You can’t hear anything that is going on around you.

The other day I discovered something amazing. I walked into a store called “Brookstone.” If you are not familiar with them, they sell a lot of unique and eclectic products. I wasn’t shopping, I was just wasting before going to dinner with the family. As I walked in with our son Max, the manager greeted us and immediately said, “Have you tried these amazing headphones?”

Of course I haven’t tried their amazing headphones because I use ordinary headphones. What made them so amazing is that they are “bone conduction” headphones. Instead of putting them in your ears, you place them next to your ears. Bone conduction technology allows you to hear sound through the vibration of the bones of your face (jaw bones and cheek bones). This means that the sound waves are bypassing the outer and middle ear (where the eardrum is located) and directly stimulating the inner ear (hearing organ).

So, I tried them on and listened to music through my jaw/cheekbones AND I could carry on a conversation with the people around me because my ears were not blocked by anything. Needless to say, I was amazed and now I want a pair!

At this point, you may be wondering to yourself why on earth am I talking about headphones?!?

Often in our lives we get so caught up in our routines and the things we are doing that we miss the things that God is doing around us and in our lives. It is like we have headphones in our ears all the time. Saturday is the day of Epiphany. It is the day we are reminded that God breaks through into our lives to be reminded that God is with us! For the wise men (magi), they saw a star that wasn’t supposed to be in the sky and they followed it to find the baby Jesus. Instead of looking down, they looked up!

Maybe we need to look up more often to see what God is up to in the world. If our ears are only listening to the things we are tuned in to, we might miss the whisper of God murmuring echoes of love and mercy.  As we begin 2018, let us be looking and listening for God and not just the busyness of our lives.

Happy New Year and God bless you,
Pr. Ben



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