I recently had a hearing test, a common part of our physical checkups in later years. I found the procedure quite high-tech. First the audiologist had to determine whether I had a wax buildup that would hinder my hearing. Then I was given a headset and situated before a monitor which registered on a curve my ability to receive speech without the distraction of peripheral noise. The technician pointed out two outlined boxes on the screen representing each ear. My hearing level was recorded as “in the box or outside the box.” In the box is within normal range. Many of my friends of similar age are already outside the box and wear hearing aids.
Spiritually, if I am distracted with the affairs and cares of this world, I can’t hear God distinctly. It takes quietness and contemplation to listen to God’s voice. Old sheep as well as young lambs need to have acute hearing to recognize and heed the voice of the Good Shepherd and avoid the growl of prowling wolves. “My sheep hear My voice and they follow Me....” The Gospel of John chapter 10.
I was somewhat relieved that my hearing was still normal since my audio curve registered “in the box” for both ears, although the line curved downward. But the hearing specialist followed this test with a more sophisticated one in a sound proof booth with more fine-tuned electronics. I didn’t come out as successfully on that one—apparently I was audio challenged—that exam recorded that I have considerable hearing loss! I was missing many of the higher levels of speech in a normal conversation, and most of it if I found myself in a situation with peripheral noise.
Jesus concluded many of His teachings with “He who has ears to hear let him hear.” He must have been referring to more than having our physical ear appendages. We may have less than perfect spiritual audio reception and not even be aware of our deficiency. We may be hearing but not listening and subsequently not obeying. We may not discern certain commandments because our ears are plugged with the wax of many years of incomplete obedience and blocked with preconceived ideas, unspiritual habits, or selfish desires of the flesh. By His divine touch Jesus restored the hearing even of the deaf during His ministry on earth. I need His touch.
Lord, keep this aging sheep “in Your box” (in Your safe Sheepfold) and close to Your side so I can clearly hear Your instructions even when You whisper them in “a still, small voice.” I need Your Holy Spirit as my Hearing Aid even more as I grow older so I may hear Your words more distinctly. Filter from my ears the distractions of the world whose siren sounds seek to draw me outside Your Fold where I would become prey to the wiles of the evil one who prowls about seeking to devour me.