Does Anybody Listen Anymore?
By: Tom Norvell

Vol. 14 No. 42 | October 17, 2011

We live at a time when technology is so advanced that on a daily basis we can be amazed and intimidated. We have the ability to communicate with people we have not seen face to face in decades. We can talk with people on the other side of the world and in some of the most remote spots on earth. We can use the telephone, smartphone, email, text, Skype, Face Time, conference calls, video calls, and any number of other forms of communication. I understand you can even put a stamp on a handwritten letter, send it through the postal service, and have it hand delivered to another person.

We communicate in one form or another almost constantly. We listen to music, we watch television, we play our CDs, iPods, and satellite radios while driving our automobiles. We can watch movies on television from the major networks and cable channels, or have them streamed in over the Internet. We can watch them on our iPhones, smartphones, iPads, and all sorts of other devices. Some people even go to theaters to watch movies.

We can read electronically, we can listen to books over the airwaves while driving, walking, or sitting on the beach. I recently saw someone with an actual book in their hands turning pages.

We live in an amazing time. I am regularly amazed with communication technologies we have at our fingertips. However, what amazes me even more is how often, even with all these advancements, I still end a conversation asking, "Does anyone listen anymore?" There have been conversations with tech support people, sales reps, and medical professionals (assuming I have gotten past all the automated systems). I have tried to ask a question (usually a fairly simple question), get clarification about an issue, or make a purchase. Each time it seemed I was talking to myself. "Does anybody listen anymore?"

At the height of my frustration I had to ask myself: "Am I listening to people?" "Is that the way I communicate with people?" Those questions pretty much stopped me in my tracks of criticism of the tech person, the sales person, the medical person, and all the others I felt had not given me an ear.

At the same time I started hearing the voice of Jesus from Mark 4:

He said to them, "Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, donít you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear." (Emphasis mine) "Consider carefully what you hear," he continued. "With the measure you use, it will be measured to you ó and even more. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him."
And the words from Luke 9:35,
"And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, 'This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!'"
Then, just as clearly, I heard him ask, "Does anybody listen anymore?"

So my question changed from, "Does anybody listen anymore?" To, "Am I the tech person, to the sales person, to the medical person, and most important of all, am I listening to God?" Am I more about getting my point across than I am about hearing what God is saying? Am I more interested in telling people what I think than I am about hearing what God thinks?

We have more ways to communicate with one another than we can possibly ever use, but are we listening to one another? We have more opportunities to communicate with each other than we could have ever imagined a few short years ago, but are we really communicating with one another? We have the Creator of the Universe who wants to share the wonders of His creation and the majesty of His presence in our lives, but are we listening?

Does anybody listen anymore?

Yes, Lord. I am listening.


© Copyright 2011 Tom Norvell. All rights reserved.