Thursday, July 25 2024 - 10:51 AM
Photo by Kelli McClintock with Unsplash

Time to Listen

It was a stressful time for me. I was in the middle of finals week and I still had a song to write. They asked me to write and perform a song at a regional conference for my church. The organizers booked a plane ticket and a hotel room for me. I even splurged on a new dress. Everything was ready! Well, except for one small tiny detail: I still hadn’t written the song and the conference was in three days.

It’s not like I didn’t have ample time to write it. I did! But in the midst of projects, papers and finals, I just let it slip. Plus, I always prided myself in being able to “crank out” a song, if sufficiently inspired. And I was confident that I would find inspiration when I needed it. But here I was three days away from the performance and no song.

“I don’t know what to do!” I told my friend over dinner. “I’ve tried everything!”

Slow Down and Listen

My friend was, and still is, a rather prolific songwriter and I, being a fledgling to the craft, often went to him for advice. This time I was near tears, but I had hope. Surely his wise words would bring the answer.

“Listen.” He said.

“Huh?” I replied.

“Listen.” He said, “You’re trying too hard and you’re getting frustrated, but I find that when I’m blocked, that’s God’s sign for me to slow down and listen.”

I’m sure that I thanked him for his words at some point during our conversation, but inside all I could think was, “That’s it?! That’s all you have to say?! I don’t even understand what you mean!”

Three days later I boarded the plane. I picked out an old song that I had written a while back. I figured it could fit sort of the theme of the event, but it still wasn’t what I wanted.

Then I looked out of the airplane window. I sighed.

“Ok.” I said, “I’m listening.”

I began to hum. In the next few minutes, I pulled out my journal and furiously wrote the exact song that I needed for the event.

I took away much more than a song from that plane ride. I disembarked with the realization that the God of the Universe wants to speak to me. To me! That anything that I could offer him pales in comparison to the gift of his presence.

So whenever things get hard and I don’t know what to do, I remind myself that this just might be an invitation from the Master. “Slow down, my child. And listen.”

“You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your work, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction” (Psalm 23:2-3 The Message).

Jael Amador writes from New York, New York.

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About Jael Amador

Jael Amador

writes from New York, New York.

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