Listening for Wisdom in Crowds

Listening for Wisdom in Crowds

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools…(Eccl. 5:1)

Yesterday at the family Christmas party, we talked about the wisdom of the elders. Actually, it’s probably better to classify it as stuff the elders said when you worked with them. One wisdom phrase was, “Shut-up and listen, that’s why God gave you two ears and only one mouth.” Great phrase, but how do you know whether the one mouth speaking knows what they are saying?

Ironically, there were so many voices speaking at the time it was hard to hear. I found it easier to cup my hand behind one ear and lean in to listen. Still the many voices continued to make it difficult. Listening is the key to learning and communication. Numerically speaking, two ears do have more value than one mouth. However, functionally, two ears also increases our listening capabilities. It presents a problem crowded rooms clearly demonstrate. How do we discern the most important voice and how do you silence the less important ones?

Think about all the voices competing for your attention. Each one seeks to pass on some form of information. Often the information overlaps and then we’re given the difficult task of discerning the value of each. These voices never seem to be silenced. They keep playing over and over again in our heads.

In today’s reading, the Teacher in Ecclesiastes recommends when we enter the house of God to, “Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools.” The words made me think of yesterday’s crowded room. If you can, today, cup your hand around your ear and lean into God, the speaker. Perhaps imagining listening to God this way will help shut out voices and reduce static. Then you might find the wisdom God is speaking to your heart this busy day.

Click to read: Ecclesiastes 5: 1-7

Reflection Questions:
What wisdom phrases from your elders remains with you today?
Where do you find the most difficulty listening?
What causes you the most difficulty discerning important voices from less important ones?
How can taking time to listen spiritual voices help you in non-spiritual areas like work?

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