BEHIND THE FRONT PAGE: Are we good listeners?

To the editor:

How good of a “listener” are you? 

Sometimes that is a question that is better answered by those closest to us. A good listener is truly valued and appreciated in our relationships with others.

Sea man Harold Cottam was praised by Congress for being a good “listener.” He was a wireless operator on the ship Carpathia on the evening of April 14, 1912. He had just finished his shift at midnight. For some reason that only God knows, Cottam left the radio on while getting ready for bed when suddenly he heard a message of panic from a larger vessel named the Titanic not too far away. He alerted his captain to the distress message that he “listened” to, and the Carpathia was able to save 706 lives before the fabled Titanic sank and killed the other 1,500 on board. It turned out that other boats were actually closer to the ill-fated Titanic that evening, but their wireless operators were not “listening,” or perhaps more lives could have been saved.

 We know that God listens to His own. It tells us in Revelation Chapter 5 that He actually collects our prayers and stores them. Sometimes we may feel that God is not listening because He doesn’t act like a genie in a bottle to grant us our wishes, but that does not mean He is not listening. I have heard it said that God not only listens, but answers every one of our prayers with one of three different responses: Yes, No, or Wait. He ultimately knows what is best for us and sometimes gives us an answer other than “Yes” because He loves us so much.

So, how good of a listener are you? Did you know that your Creator communicates with you on a constant basis? He does so with the authority of His Word in the Bible, and talks to us through others and circumstances that He brings your way. Are you listening to God’s voice on a daily basis, or have you “turned Him off” lately? Reading your Bible regularly is one way to be in tune with your God and being able to listen to His voice. It takes discipline when there are so many other things in life that demand our attention. But, of all the relationships that you cherish, it is the one with your Heavenly Father that will ultimately count the most when we come to the end of life. It would be prudent for us to heed the advice given in Psalm 85: “I will listen to what God the Lord says.”


Ed Rollmann, Chilton

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