Hearing and listening are not necessarily the same


Rev. James L. Snyder - Contributing Columnist



As big as my ears are, you would think I would be able to hear everything I am listening to.

I like to think I am hearing what I am listening to, but I have so many illustrations that prove otherwise.

It was on a Friday and I was very busy trying to get things done for the weekend. Some in our domicile can multitask and then the other can hardly do one thing at a time.

I was busy trying to get ready for the weekend when the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage came in and said, “Can we borrow your truck on Monday?”

I grunted and nodded my head in the affirmative.

“We need to move some furniture to a storage unit.”

Now, in those two sentences she used the word “we” but I heard the word “I.”

I am okay with her borrowing my truck and doing whatever kind of business she needs to do. A marriage works that way. One has a truck and the other borrows said truck.

As I recall, it was a rather pleasant weekend and then it was over.

Early on Monday morning my wife came into the living room where I was watching TV and drinking my morning cup of coffee, looked at me and said, “Are we ready to go?” Then she smiled and nodded her head in my direction.

At the time, I had no idea whatsoever of what she was talking about. Where were we going to go?

“You know,” she said with a big smile all over her face. “We are going to borrow your truck and move some furniture to a storage unit.”

“We,” I said very quizzically. “Who is the we? And what are we going to do?”

Then she explained to me that on the past Friday I had agreed with her that we would use my truck and move some furniture to a storage unit. Now, for the life of me I did not remember that. All I remember was the word “I.”

So, “we” borrowed my truck and then “we” moved some furniture to a storage unit. It took us all morning and all I did was nod my head and smile until we were finished.

It was about noontime when we finished and when we got into the truck she said to me, “Goodness, it’s lunchtime and I haven’t prepared anything for lunch. Do you suppose we could go out for lunch?”

To this day, I wonder if that wasn’t the plan all along. “We” would borrow my truck and “we” would move furniture and then “we” would go out to lunch. That’s where the “we” stopped.

As we finished our lunch the waitress brought the bill and the “we” changed to “me.”

Driving home from the diner my wife sighed very deeply and said, “We sure had a wonderful morning didn’t we?”

I nodded and smiled and kept driving.

Musing along the way I could not help but think that sometimes listening and hearing are two different things.

I believe Solomon understood this very well when he wrote, “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.” (Proverbs 1:5).

I may be hearing what my wife is saying, but I may not be listening to what she is saying. The not listening is what really gets you into trouble.

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Rev. James L. Snyder

Contributing Columnist

Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 1-866-552-2543, 352-687-4240 or e-mail jamessnyder2@att.net. His website is www.jamessnyderministries.com. The church website is www.whatafellowship.com.

Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 1-866-552-2543, 352-687-4240 or e-mail jamessnyder2@att.net. His website is www.jamessnyderministries.com. The church website is www.whatafellowship.com.