My daughters have learned, when Mom or Dad speaks, it pays to listen. They even know when we know they’re not paying attention to our instructions.

On one occasion, I told one of my daughters how to run a lawn mower. I went through the checklist—don’t stick your foot under the mower, wear steel-toe boots, set the choke at a certain level, prime the engine with just enough fuel to avoid flooding, and push the mower in straight lines.

Halfway through my instructions, my daughter tuned me out, “Yeah, Dad, I got it. . . . Yep, sounds good. . . . Okay . . .  Alright. . .” So I decided to let her try it for herself.

The next thing I knew, BOOM! The lawn mower exploded. My daughter over-primed the engine and flooded it. She was suddenly eager to hear me go through my checklist again.

We want our kids to pay attention and listen because of the significance of what we have to tell them. How much more does God want us to hearken to His Word? This is a very serious matter, yet we tune Him out and allow other things to arrest our attention. It’s no wonder life often explodes out of proportion.

You may be wondering why you’re experiencing pain and suffering from a set of circumstances gone awry. Are you listening to God speak through His Word and the counsel of your pastor, teacher, or parents, or are you tuning Him out? Make an effort to hear Him, heed Him, believe Him, and yield to His Word today. It pays to listen.

It is essential that we acquire the habit of hearkening to [God’s] voice, or keeping silence within, and listening so as to lose nothing of what He says to us. — François Fénelon

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.