As every parent with a teenager knows, with the territory comes some challenges. In today’s tech age, just getting a teen’s attention at times can be virtually (pardon the pun) impossible. Now my parents never had that techy-type problem with my brother and I. We had selective hearing. We could easily ignore their calls to come wash dishes or take the garbage out. What we didn’t like to hear (or do), we would ignore. We never missed dinner or dessert calls. Selective hearing…it had its advantages.
Today’s teens are different though. With iPods plugged into their ears most of the time, they honestly cannot hear you when you call them for anything. We have an intercom in our house, installed by previous owners who were tired of yelling up the stairs for their teens to come down for dinner or chores. I forgot that we had it when my teens lived at home and so after my voice was hoarse from calling to them upstairs, my husband tried the intercom. The volume was set at maximum and I nearly fell over backwards from the blast of his voice reverberating around the house. Did my kids hear him? No.
I’m sure that years from now, a scientific study will discover that hearing loss in the next generation can be accredited to prolonged iPod usage, and gaming headphones.
I have discovered however, that today’s teen has no trouble hearing the tiny “ting” of a text message coming in on their cell phone. They can’t hear their mother screech at them to empty the dishwasher, but the “ting” of a text has them scrambling to find their phone. Selective hearing.
Another thing about this generation of teens is their inability to communicate vocally. My daughter actually texts faster than she talks. Again, there will be another study in the future that claims that texting has caused the next generation to have the inability to speak. Tongues may one day become another vestigial organ. At least it will be a quiet generation I guess.
I will admit that over the years I have selective hearing. Yep. Especially when God is calling me. I have fine-tuned my ability to hear God’s Voice when He’s asking me to do something (that I like to do), or if He’s saying something (about me) that I like to hear. It’s funny how fast I can jump to attention when I am getting my pride stroked, or I’m involved in something I just LOVE to do. But watch me ignore God’s Voice when He asks me to do something I DON’T like or if He’s disciplining me. Wow.
Sometimes I wonder if God is hoarse trying to get my attention sometimes! God does speak, but it’s not okay for me to choose to listen to only those things I want to hear. Selective hearing then becomes disobedience, plain and simple.
Do you suffer from selective hearing when it comes to listening and then responding to God? Or perhaps you’re more like a teenager, too distracted with technology and being “plugged in” you simply can’t hear anything?
“So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did. That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger, They shall never enter my rest.’ ” See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.” (Hebrews 3:7-12)