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Listen like your life depends on it

God will speak to you if you’ll listen. Four years ago, a young man in California I’d never met named Joe Bunting read a blog post of mine and emailed me. In the post he’d read was this quote from Fredrick Buechner: In the year that King Uzziah died, or in the year that John F. Kennedy died,…
By Seth Barnes
God will speak to you if you’ll listen. Four years ago, a young man in California I’d never met named Joe Bunting read a blog post of mine and emailed me. In the post he’d read was this quote from Fredrick Buechner:
In the year that King Uzziah died, or in the year that John
F. Kennedy died, or in the year that somebody you loved died, you go into the
temple, if that is your taste, or you hide your face in the little padded temple
of your hands, and a voice says, “Whom shall I send into the pain of a world
where people die?” And if you are not
careful, you may find yourself answering, “Send me.” You may hear the voice say, “Go.” Just go.
 
A man’s life is
full of all sorts of voices calling him in all sorts of directions. Some of them are voices from inside and some
of them are voices from outside. The
more alive and alert we are, the more clamorous our lives are. Which do we listen to? What kind of voice do we listen for?
Joe had graduated from college about a year before and was working a desk
job as an administrative assistant. He called himself a “professional
coffee maker.” His potential was barely being tapped, and he was
struggling to break out of the status quo.
 
His email to me read, “I got a sudden urge to get up, leave work, and start walking to Georgia. That’s not from God, right? What if it is?”
 
Yes Joe, it was. He didn’t walk to Georgia, but three years later, after first going around the world, Joe did drive his car here in the hopes of taking out my daughter Talia.
 
How could he know that for years Talia had asked me the question, “Daddy, are you praying for my husband?” How could he have seen her tears as she waited for her knight in shining armor to show up?

I believe the urge Joe felt four years ago was the direct answer to our prayers. God was speaking to him and Joe was listening as though his life depended on it.
 
Maybe it did.
 
I think our lives depend on our listening no less.

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