Attending is the Key to Hearing God

thumb_servant-bellsOkay, I'll admit it, I'm hooked on Downton Abbey. I've watched all four seasons and look forward to each new episode with great anticipation. And I guess I'm not alone, as the series was awarded a Golden Globe and is one of the most widely watched television dramas in the world.


Okay, I'll admit it, I'm hooked on Downton Abbey. I've watched all four seasons and look forward to each new episode with great anticipation. And I guess I'm not alone, as the series was awarded a Golden Globe and is one of the most widely watched television dramas in the world.

thumb_servant-bells

One of the things I find fascinating about the show is how it gives us a glimpse into what it would be like to be a butler or maid in a great English manor. I love the little bells mounted in the kitchen and how each servant responded immediately to the sound of their bell. Graham Cooke writes about these bells in his book, Keys to Brilliant Focus. He says that the servants could distinguish the particular sound that would summon them into the king's presence. They could pick out their own sound above all others, much as a mother knows the sound of their own baby in a nursery full of crying children.

Graham goes on to write that the practice of listening for the bell is called "attending." The servants attended the king or queen by responding when they were summoned.

When we attend God, we discern His voice about all other sounds. We learn to wait on Him. We are present for Him. When we make time for Him -- like at ALR -- we are cultivating a place of rest in His presence. We clear away the distractions and go to a solitary place for the purpose of attending our King. It's a beautiful thing. And it's something that brings so much joy to God's heart.

As wonderful as it is to spend a weekend set aside for being still and hearing His voice, attending our King is something we need to do every day. Only then will our ears be trained to hear when our bell is rung and we've been summoned into His presence. I've been working on this, and let me tell you it isn't easy. Life is so full of distractions and deadlines. My wife Druci has been getting up in the middle of the night because it's the only quiet time she can find. I told the Lord if He wants to wake me up I'll do my best to respond. So far it hasn't happened.

Graham says a few other things about attending:

Be delighted in the process of creating room in your heart and your day just to sit and listen. You don't have to hear anything. That's the point. We are practicing stillness. We clear away all other sounds. We mute the world around us. We relax and allow our hearts to go out to Him. Adoration is best done silently. Minister to His heart in quiet gratitude.

That's my desire. I want to go deeper with Him. I want to know Him like I never have before.

See you at the next ALR!

Rick

My Peace I Give You...
He Takes Me to a Quiet Place
 

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