I Just Gotta Listen Better…

One of the running jokes in our family is that you have to get my attention around the house before you can talk to me. Sometimes I’m so deep in thought about something or other that I tune out every other noise in the room. My wife and kids have learned to get my attention before talking to me. Oh, I hear their voices, they just don’t register. I only know some one’s talking to me when the room grows strangely silent and I look up to see people looking at me waiting for a response. But, not having heard the question, I have no idea how to respond.

Well, Aimee is starting to learn that about me as well. My daughter and granddaughter were over for dinner the other night because dad was away on business. Aimee is at the age now (two and a half) where she is just loads of fun. I was hanging out with her in the front room while Sara and Julie were busy in the kitchen. When it came time for me to start the grill, I told Aimee I’d be back and left the room. I was already thinking about something else when I saw Sara and Julie walk out of the kitchen with disapproving eyes looking in my direction. “You can’t hear that?” my wife asked.

Oops! Come to think of it I had heard some yelling in the back of my mind somewhere. “She’s been yelling ‘Grandpa, wait’ over and over again.” I turned and there was Aimee with sad eyes, completely bewildered as to why I hadn’t responded to her. Bummer! I gotta listen better and not so quickly shift gears into something that’s rattling around in my brain. I went back and made amends to Aimee and then took her outside with me, saddened that I had not responded when she called to me.

As I got the grill ready, I heard a faint chuckle in the back of my heart. “Wow! I know how that feels!”

Instantly I knew. How many times is the Spirit yelling, “Wayne, wait!” when I’m off to follow some passionate idea of mine or some busy plan of mine. It was a gentle rebuke, but a great reminder for me. I really do have to listen better. I don’t want Aimee or God feeling neglected because my mind is too preoccupied to hear them. And that goes double for Sara!