“Seriously?” Some days I want to say that all of the time! Why on earth do some people do what they do, or say what they say, or think what they think? How exasperating it can be when some people have different views than mine. Where do they get their information, anyway?
On a good day, this little rant would be followed by, “Wait… stop.” That would be me, telling me to stop the rant! I would follow it with a self check on why I think what I think, and a purposeful attempt to see another side. And I hope that my self check would allow me to experience a greater understanding, if not agreement, of a situation.
Andrew is very old. He has a perpetual smile and a slightly stooped but quick walk. The first time I met him he told me, “I’m a catechist! This is what I do!” And then he chuckled, as if that fact made him happy. Then he started asking questions.
“Who do you listen to?” I didn’t know where he was going with the question and I fumbled with the answer I thought he was looking for. He didn’t like my answer, so again he asked, “Who do you listen to?” Still not getting it, he continued, “Are you listening to the voice of Jesus, or are you listening to the popular voice of the time?”
There’s so many life changing personal and cultural decisions to be made. We are responsible to educate ourselves, to work, to vote, to care for our families and others, and to care for our world. To whom do we look for the information we need to do all of those things well? Who should we listen to? I pass along Andrew’s wise question to you. Sometimes, it takes a gulp of courage and humility to look inside and answer.
Who is that popular voice for you? Is it a friend, co-worker, professor, celebrity, or political leader? Is it your pastor or a favorite author? Does their voice deserve your attention more than the voice of the Lord?
And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my chosen, listen to him!” (Luke 9:35 RSV)
And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. (Luke 10:39 RSV)