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A Diligent Listener

Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, "Lord. do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:38-42 (NRSV)

Let the wise also hear and gain in learning, and the discerning acquire skill, Proverbs 1:5 (NRSV)

Terry J. Burns live in Florida. AS Terry and her husband paddled their kayaks, they spotted fish swimming in the water and alligators sunning on the bank. Soon another kayaker maneuvered over to them and whispered, "Look! A manatee!" They marveled as a manatee swam below them. At that moment, three other kayakers came into view. One shouted, "I don't see any manatees!" Another shouted back, "Maybe they are father down the river. Let's go!" They propelled themselves quickly through the water before anyone could alert them to the manatee's presence.

As they continued their slow river trek, Terry thought about those three people. Distracted by their efforts, they did not hear the hushed voices that led others to the manatee. They failed to notice us, still and quiet, gazing into the water. Later Terry wondered: How often am I like those kayakers? What acts of service go undone or prayers of intercession go unspoken because I am too distracted or too hurried to attend to the Holy Spirit's nudges?

There are times when we must make preparations like Martha. Like the three kayakers, we may find cause for forging ahead. However, Jesus values Mary's choice to listen. Terry hopes to follow Mary's example and become a diligent listener - listening with her ears, with her eyes, and with her heart. What about us? Do we take time to be diligent listeners?

Prayer: Dear Father, help us to listen as we study your word, interact with your children, and seek your will, in Jesus' name. Amen.


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