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The Cobblestone Daily: Listening with One Ear

I sat on my back deck in the early afternoon listening to a youtube video about homeschool math curriculums when I was paused to answer a question from my oldest. A few moments later, I paused to lament with my third daughter over an issue she was having followed by an immediate request from my fourth daughter to do her nails. I am sure many of you, as parents, know this drill. I resumed my podcast for 2 minutes before I was interrupted by number three once again. Feeling my edges fraying, I calmly answered her question and very deliberately pressed the play button on my phone again. Number four climbed on the patio table and fingered through the nail supplies we had laying out, picking out this color, checking that color, before beginning a conversation about colors. Honestly, it really couldn't be labeled as a conversation because, quite frankly, I was not listening. When her prattling became more direct, I paused the video in a direct way and asked her,

"ABK, do you see me watching this video?"

"Yes," she replied.

Looking at her in the eyes, I continued, "Then why are you interrupting? I can't watch the video and have a conversation with you at the same time."

With all the sincerity a five-year-old can have she answered, "Yes you can, you just need to close one ear and open the other."

I was curious by her thought process and decided to investigate this perception of hearing further.

"Ok, so if I'm listening to you with one ear and I'm closing the other, how can I listen to the video?"

"Oh, I said that wrong," she stumbled, "what I meant to say was, you can listen to me with one ear and listen to the video with the other."

"Do you do that?" I queried. "Yes, just like you do," she replied, "you do that when you talk to me sometimes. You just have to focus your ears."

The conversation was funny enough and I finished listening to her ideas about nail polish but the conversation had me think more deeply about how we listen. My daughter's seemingly silly idea was silly because we know there is no way we can tune one ear into one conversation while having the other ear tuned to another conversation. In fact, when we try to listen to two conversations, information is lost or misheard.

In our culture, this is something we try to do all the time and label it "multitasking;" however, some of us even do this with God. We read, we hear, we pray; meanwhile, we try all the while to tune our other ear to the world and situations around us. In not fully focusing on what Christ wants us to hear, we can misinterpret the information He longs for us to know and understand.

Luke 16:13 says,

"No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."

We must fully tune our hearts and our minds to the Lord, then, in hearing what the world wants us to hear, we can reject that which is untruth; instead, seeing falsehood for what it is. Fully tuning our ears and hearts to listen to the Lord will allow us the opportunity to see things through the Lord's perspective.

2 Corinthians 3:16-17 says,

"But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."

When we truly seek the Lord, we open ourselves up to the love and the fullness He wants for us and others. It opens us up to see His people as He wants us to see them and to love them more fully. When we truly turn our whole being, our whole thought processes, our whole lives to the Lord, we open ourselves up to freedom we have yet to experience before. The key is to listen to the Lord with "both" ears.


Has your kid ever said something that made you think more deeply? Have you learned a lesson from the innocence of your child? I would love for you to share one of those moments with me. Simply login as a member to leave a comment and subscribe for your free e-book!

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1 Comment

Alex Goebel
Alex Goebel
Jun 24, 2020

This made me laugh as well as reflect on how I spend time with God. Thank you for sharing this.

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