“O” is for Obedience (March 5, 2013)

…Opening To…

O Lord, you are my Lord and my God, and I have never seen you. You have made and remade me and bestowed on me all the good that I possess. (St. Anselm, Proslogion)

…Listening In…

Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’ Then the Lord said to Samuel, ‘See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make both ears of anyone who hears of it tingle. (1 Samuel 3:10-11; context)

…Filling Up…

This Lent, we are exploring our faith by running through the alphabet. Today, “O” is for Obedience. You might think that obedience is simply doing what you’re told. You obey your parents when you pick up your shoes or take out the trash. The recruit obeys his drill sergeant when he drops and gives him twenty. The dog obeys its master when it sits and stays. But this understanding of obedience comprehends only the second half of what the concept is all about. In fact, the act of doing the command isn’t even part of the word.

The word “obedience” comes from the Latin word audire. Look familiar? Drop the –re at the end and add an –o and you’ve got the word “audio.” That’s right. The word obedience comes from the Latin for “to hear.” So, in order to practice obedience, you first have to learn how to listen. If you turn on any cable news show with political pundits jabbing at each other, you’ll soon discover why they are often nicknamed “talking heads.” They talk, but rarely do they listen. Indeed, in our world today, those who talk gain far more exposure than those who listen.

So how do you listen? You get quiet (more on this in a few days) and you turn off your own interior monologue. Don’t evaluate or critique what the other is saying. Just hear and ingest the words. There will be time to reflect later.

In the case of your relationship with God, practice listening. When you hear how the Lord is moving in your life, you can then take on the second half of obedience. The first two letters of the word – ob – means something to the effect of “go in the direction of.” Therefore, when you obey, you move towards that which you hear, you move with God’s voice as you serve.

…Praying For…

Dear God, your voice is always speaking in my life. Help me listen for that voice, and help me to practice obedience when I hear your movement. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, grateful for the word that you speak daily into my soul, the word that continues to create me and helps me to grow.

One thought on ““O” is for Obedience (March 5, 2013)

  1. “turn off the interior monologue ” It is then I realize the ‘tapes’ I’ve been playing are really, really boring: kind of like techno music, short theme repeated frequently. (Like some Baptist hymns that can’t decide when to end.)

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