Imagine a game of tug-o-war. Without both teams the rope would simply fall to the ground and there would be no game or fun.
Now imagine on one side of the rope is "listening" and on the other side is "doing." There is a tension between the two, but they are both needed.
We can't truly listen without it changing us in some way – our ideas, our knowledge, our way of living. We can't truly do anything without first listening – to our thoughts, to God's call, or to the voices of others.
We need both listening and doing.
The Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. He said, “My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on — since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.”
Abraham is a man of action. It is the hottest part of the day, yet he runs to meet people he sees in the distance. He then asks to bring water and food so they can rest. He desperately wants to serve them.
If I saw the Lord walking, I might respond differently. I would run out to the Lord, but I might start asking for things. A new car, being better at sports, money, or more hair since I am now going bald.
Yet Abraham responded by doing instead of talking. He listened to his heart and what he knew to be right. He had heard about being nice to strangers and taking care of others, and he let it lead him to do the right thing.
God, as I seek to serve you, help me to respond in the right ways. Help me do what you want me to do. Amen.
Today is a day of tug-o-war,
Listening and doing pulling at you.
Sometimes listening is more important;
In other moments we are called to action.
In both, God is present.
Pray for God's guidance to know when
You should do and when you should listen.