I used to get told, especially as a kid in the school room, to "put on my listening ears"... as like most children - being distracted or day-dreaming was a way of life.
From time to time in my life too, I've found myself in the middle of an argument with a family member and said to them "your hearing the words, but your not really listening".
To be honest I've said this to my kids from time to time... they're making the right faces of standing there when I've been 'discussing' something with them, but I can tell they are mentally elsewhere.
Hey! I've done the same myself, especially in boring tutorials and even when someone is telling me a long winded tale. I may be looking at you, but my head is somewhere more interesting.
If you can relate... then is it fair to say that listening involves alot more than the ability to physically hear with your ears?
We may understand and have cognition of words and there meaning but we aren't really analysing the content and engaging in there purpose. We don't comprehend, either by distraction, or by purpose.
On purpose? --- when I've listened to guys start talking about football or sports. I switch off, I find it dull and purposefully don't absorb the content of the conversation. I'm sure the opposite can be true of girl talk in the other direction.
Disinterest? --- I remember once my daughter and I were talking about fashion magazines and my youngest son was only about 4 years old and piped up "how can you keep talking about magazines and clothes? It's only paper and material!" He was pretty annoyed at the content of our chit chat and refused to comprehend. In a way I don't blame him!
What about when someone mentions Jesus, God, Church or faith? I know alot of people immediately switch off, or just don't want to listen. Maybe out of human politeness listen for a little bit but don't really don't want to "hear".....
Some find the idea of God beyond comprehension
God doesn't make any kind of logical sense. There are too many unanswered questions and because faith in God seems an uneasy prospect to fully grasp. It's left unheard and unattended. Listening isn't worth it.
Words about Jesus, faith and God may slip over our ears and heads and fail to make an impression on our minds. There are too many difficulties - like a radio wave we try and tune in on an old radio.. the signal isn't clear. It's too hard to make sense of.
HOW DO WE HEAR GOD ? CAN WE HEAR HIM?
Jesus says we can --
This Bible verse out of the book of Revelation has Jesus saying to people, including you and I...
"Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I'll come right in and sit down to supper with you".
How can we "hear" Jesus call ... ?? If this verse is believable by everyday people then how do we open our ears to his voice?
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them,
and they follow Me; - (jesus )
In both these statements Jesus says that we will be able to hear his voice... and we would follow him and sit down and share life with him. How can we literally do that?
Christians believe that it's by the way of "faith" that we hear Jesus. It begins in the heart and soul of person. A kind of heartbeat which comes alive when the story of who God is is communicated. Something deep inside resonates "yes" and draws us to find out about him, and know him. It's so difficult to explain... but Ken Chant makes a statement about it in his book "Attributes of Splendour" which reads ...
"Most thoughtful people come to the same conclusion - there is not enough evidence of God to make belief in him quite reasonable, but no so much that no room left for doubt. In the end the recourse must be had to the grace of God himself and to faith.
But then something wonderful happens - those who believe know!
Faith brings its own authentication."
Maybe the "listening ears" of the heart need to be switched on somehow.. breaking down the barriers of doubt and putting aside disinterest. Be open hearted if not open minded to genuinely seeks to find that a relationship with Jesus could be possible.
That God could be real...well, anything could happen.