Pastor and author Charles Swindoll tells a story from a stressful time in his ministry. Communication in his home had broken down, but he wasn’t aware of how much until one evening when his young daughter said, “Daddy–I–wanna–tell–you–something–and–I’ll–tell–you–really–fast.” Sensing her frustration, he said, “Honey, you can tell me … and you don’t have to tell me really fast. Say it slowly.” He says he’ll never forget her reply, “Then listen slowly.” His life had gotten out of balance.
As we return from our time away, I have been trying to listen slowly to the sounds of children’s laughter, ocean waves and pounding surf. I pray as we gather tomorrow we can gather and listen slowly to Jesus’ message of the sower and the seed. When Jesus says, “Whoever has ears, let them hear.” (Matthew 13:9 NIV), I hear him asking, “Are you listening to this? Really listening? “