Heeding is all about paying attention to what we know. It involves hearing but it’s really all about knowing and abiding in what we know. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
How well did you heed your parents growing up? Do you remember those times you were sent to your room or sent from the table? For me I particularly remember the times I lost privileges. If there was one thing growing up I feared more than anything, it was losing the privilege of having something, doing something or being somewhere. I hated the feeling of isolation when my brothers or friends enjoyed a privilege I was denied. My parents consistently reminded me to take care of my things and not be reckless. As they didn’t have much money, when they gave me something, there was a proviso––Be thankful and careful. I knew they loved me and sacrificed for me. If I had heeded their love, I wouldn’t have lost privileges as often as I did. Oftentimes their caring words went into one ear and out the other. Had I heard the words, taken them to heart, it would have been easier to heed them. Consequently, I would have probably been the most privileged kid on the block.
Here’s a story. A pastor announced he would be preaching next Sunday evening on “The Love of God.” The congregation dispersed without much discussion as to what the topic might bring. For that matter it seemed somewhat a threadbare matter. “The love of God? We’ve heard that before. What could he possibly add to a topic that has been so thoroughly explored?” However, as Sunday evening came and the shadows fell and the light ceased to come in through the church windows, the congregation gathered into a nave with all the lights extinguished. In the darkness of the chancel, the pastor lighted a candle and carried it to the cross behind the altar. First of all, he illumined the crown of thorns, next, the two wounded hands, then the marks of the spear wound. In the hush that fell, he blew out the candle and left the chancel. There was nothing else to say. It was a sermon without words that could only be heeded but not heard. (Source unknown)
Growing up I wasn’t consciously disobeying my parents when I didn’t take care of my things or appear thankful for their sacrifice in giving them. Rather, I heard them but didn’t heed them. Heeding is all about paying attention to what we know. It involves hearing but it’s really all about knowing and abiding in what we know. Years ago my parents gave me a new bike, something rare when used wheels were all they could really afford. My response? “A new bike. Wow! Thanks Mom and Dad.” Their admonition? “Now remember Mark, be responsible.” I listened but didn’t heed what they were saying. I lost the privilege of having the bike for a time. Had I not only heard their words but abided in shame of the love it took to grant me a new bike, that wouldn’t have happened. Obeying God is like that. As that congregation felt the shame of taking God’s love for granted and thereby stood in fear of obedience, we need to temper God’s commandments with a bit of shame each time he speaks to us through his Word. Thereby we will be conditioned to heed and not just hear. Truly a sermon with little need of many words.
We pray. Heavenly Father, your commandments are straightforward. Yet we equivocate, blur and disobey them so often. We hear what you in love are commanding us to do. Yet we so often forget about what it means for you to love a thankless people like us. Thank you Lord for loving us even when we aren’t heeding the fruit of that love, your guidelines for living a life of obedience and service. Forgive us Lord when we hear but don’t heed. Keep us always mindful of what your love means and the sacrifice that is behind every Word you have blessed us with, the blood of Jesus Christ our Lord. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt 6:34)
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