The Skill of Listening

Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end” (Proverbs 19:20)

Before Amiga the cat leaves the safety of the back porch at night, she listens with all her being to what is going on around her. She swivels and adjusts her ears to screen out distracting sounds. She turns her head this way and that. When she thinks she hears something of special interest, her focus intensifies. Her ears go fully forward and she faces the direction from which the noise came.  

While all this is going on, she maintains perfect silence, not purring, not meowing, and certainly not barking. She does not engage in any other activity while she listens. She does not groom her fur or scratch her ear. All her attention is focused on listening. By the time she steps off the porch, she knows what is out there. No enemy will surprise her. She has done her porch work.  

Pepper the dog has keen ears as well, and he also knows how to use them. However, he has one compulsion Amiga does not share—he feels compelled to tell the world what he hears or thinks he hears. Amiga reveals none of the information she has gathered by listening, leaving her observers to wonder what she knows.  

I would hate to challenge either of my pets to a listening contest. I have a number of bad habits that interfere with my listening. Sometimes I am not really interested in what I am being told. Sometimes I begin formulating my response while I should still be listening. I also tend to lack focus. At times I have preconceived ideas that interfere with hearing what others say. So many bad habits! My dog and cat have much to teach me, if only I will observe and listen.  

When hearts are crushed and teardrops glisten, 
Oh, be not rushed, but stop and listen. 

From Paws on My Porch, by Gary Miller
© 2015 TGS International, PO Box 355, Berlin, Ohio 44610
Used by permission 


Other articles you may also like to read:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Gospel Billboards Logo