Rarely do I listen to the radio, but as I drove home on Friday I tuned in to our local Christian station. The speaker[i] was part way through his message but my ears perked up when I heard “Ecclesiastes”, especially when I realized he was finishing up his series on this often-puzzling book. Our pastor would be concluding his series on the same book so my curiosity was already peaked. He related the following story that I have summarized,
“Two men were walking down the streets of New York City. All around were sounds of horns honking, people shouting, cash registers beeping, tires screeching, cell phones ringing, doors slamming, and sirens wailing. Suddenly one man remarked,
‘I hear a cricket!’
‘How can you hear a cricket? With all this noise, that’s not possible!’ declared the other gentleman.
‘But I do hear a cricket!’ the first man replied.
He crossed the street, looked through some bushes and sure enough there was a tiny cricket!
‘It all depends what you are listening for,’ he said as the other man stared in amazement.
‘Watch these people bustling about,’ he instructed as he reached into his pocket. Pulling out a handful of change, he tossed the coins in the air. As they clanged on the sidewalk, several heads turned to see. His point was made.”
The speaker commented on the lessons life had taught Solomon as he pursued fulfillment in earthly wealth, pleasure, relationships, power, and possessions. As he neared his later years he concluded that only in knowing God can a person be truly content.
“The only place you will find true satisfaction is in the invisible; the inaudible,” the speaker stated. I pulled my car over and wrote that one down!
Solomon wrote in Proverbs 2:1-6, “…if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding – indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as silver and search for it as hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
As I take a walk the next day along the Bedford waterfront, I make a conscious effort to focus on the “inaudible”. All around me is the sound of traffic on the nearby Bedford highway, people talking and calling to one another as they launch their boats into the sparkling water, planes of many types decreasing their speed as they fly overhead for a landing at the airport, a truck roaring by on the gravel road, a lawnmower cutting grass, and a loud humming from the water treatment plant. It would be easy to allow these noises to disrupt the pleasantness of the cool sunny day, but I choose to listen for the crickets.
Soon, I hear them – the steady cheerful chirping from these usually invisible creatures as they take refuge under a pile of leaves or between tall blades of grass. They begin to take priority over less pleasurable sounds. I concentrate on the gentle lapping of the waves and the breeze blowing through my hair. My soul starts to rejoice in the beauty of God and all He has made. I feel a new energy in my steps and renewed health in my body.
It is then that I am ready to hear the whispers of God’s Spirit as He speaks to my soul. He shows me new insights and gives me wisdom to manage the events of this day. He reminds me of miraculous answers to the cries of my heart and the change of circumstances from one year ago. I take pleasure in His nearness and thank Him for His faithfulness.
It is possible to hear the “crickets” no matter where I am and what life may bring my way. I just need to listen!
Until next time,
[i] Speaker’s identity unknown