Echoes From the Campfire

On a late afternoon when the clouds gather around the peaks and the lightning begins to play its games over the mountain meadows, the high country is no place to be, but it can be spectacular to watch from a safe distance.  At such times the hills can be alive with the sound that isn’t music, but it has a magnificence of its own.”
              –Louis L’Amour  (Passin’ Through)

“Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, You people in whose heart is My law: Do not fear the reproach of men, Nor be afraid of their insults.”
              –Isaiah 51:7 (NKJV)
         “The tragedy is that our eternal welfare depends upon our hearing, and we have trained our ears not to hear.”
                   –A.W. Tozer

    This is my favorite time of the year.  I loved to get out and walk in the woods during the fall season, whether it be hunting or just spending time in God’s great cathedral.  I like to find a place, maybe by a cascading brook, or sit on the edge of a ridge overlooking the country below, or maybe just to sit in a grove of trees.  In all of these places I like to sit and listen.
    Folks don’t listen anymore.  It may be that they just don’t take the time to listen.  It may be that they are so inundated with noise and sounds that they are not able to listen.  Right now, as I right this, I am listening to the leaves rustle as the breeze moves them.  There is a squirrel in the tree and I hear it moving through the branches often stopping to eat the nuts on the dogwood tree.  Then in the midst of it all, the wonder is ruined by the sound of beeping, a truck is beeping and that took my ears away from nature and all I can hear is noise.  Noise of the beeping, noise of the not too distant highway, the noise of man’s progress and technology.
    I used to teach Royal Rangers and also taught an Outdoor Education class.  One of my first days of class was to get the students outside.  They were to sit the whole class period and listen and then record what they heard.  They were to have two columns:  man-made noise and nature.  The first time they really struggled.  First it was hard for them to sit that long, in one place, outside in nature.  Second, they were away from their phones.  They struggled to listen.
    We are very much the same way when it comes to things spiritual and the voice of God.  We struggle to sit in one place to read God’s Word.  We struggle to find a quiet place where we can pray and commune with God.  Jesus often admonished with the following, “he who has an ear let him listen.”  If we take the time, if we can discipline ourselves, we can learn to listen.  The students who were given the assignment to listen struggled, but they began to learn to be still and listen.  By the end of the semester they were able to “hear” the voices of nature.  We can do the same with the Lord.