September 19, 2020
The Listening Walk
by Nancy Kay Grace
He says, “Be still and know that I am God…”-Psalm 46:10
One of the pleasures in my life is reading to my grandchildren. At a recent visit, I noticed a library book on the coffee table entitled The Listening Walk, by Paul Showers. The back-cover copy reads, “Put on your socks and shoes—and don’t forget your ears! We’re going on a listening Walk. Shhhhhh. Do not talk, do not hurry. Get ready to fill your ears with a world of wonderful and surprising sounds.”
After reading the book to my three young grandsons, we put on our shoes and headed out on our own listening walk.
It was hard for the brothers not to talk, but when they did, they mentioned the sound of birds cawing in the trees, the wind whistling around the houses, our footsteps, and the cars on the street.
When I returned home, I decided to go on my own listening walk. In the sky, the geese honked in chorus as they headed south for winter. Feet crunched through leaves on the sidewalk. The wind swirled the leaves in the air as they fell from trees.
The beautiful sounds of creation inspired me. The listening walk calmed my soul.
Each day, I pray to hear God’s voice, listening to His words for my soul. I’m reminded of Elijah desiring to hear from God, waiting for the presence of the Lord to pass by. While waiting, the powers of nature nearly overtook him. Scripture says, “After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper” (1 Kings 19:12 NIV). Elijah heard the whisper of God and responded to His voice.
Stillness goes against our noisy culture. The blaring world sidetracks us from hearing the truths of God’s Word. The family, the job, and other responsibilities pull us in a thousand different directions with the next call to urgency.
Intentional effort is needed to turn off the sounds of the world—television, computers, phones, social media, music, the opinions of others—and tune our hearts to the still small voice of God.
God gives us a reminder to pause and refocus on Him, breathing the Holy Spirit into us in the fast pace of life.
Every day presents its own battle for us to listen to God. It’s easy to look at daily cares or problems and be discouraged. Yet, we have God’s powerful word that helps us remember he is fighting for us. The promise in Exodus 14:14 offers us this encouragement: “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” (NIV) We can hear God’s voice whisper his strength.
Casting my cares on the Lord, he calms my anxious heart with his peace.
A child’s book and a simple listening walk showed me the value of listening to the God of creation and my life. I desire a listening life, leaning in for God’s still small voice in the daily chaos, knowing that God is sovereign over the confusion.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Nancy Kay Grace enjoys the outdoors and zip lining. She is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God’s grace in our lives. She has contributed to several Chicken Soup for the Soul books, The Upper Room devotional, as well as online and print magazine articles. Nancy loves sharing stories of God’s faithfulness and grace. Please visit http://www.nancykaygrace.com to sign up for the monthly GraceNotes devotional newsletter.
Join the conversation: Is it time for you to go on a listening walk?