Monday, October 19, 2015

Hearing God Through Distractions

The door buzzed as the guy walked in the front door. I was in the back of our print shop working, but could see him through the windows that divide the front of the shop from the back. He held his cell phone up to his ear as he entered the shop and approached the cash register.

Leaving the stacks of books I was working on, I headed to the front to help him. I said to myself, or maybe to others around me, “I hope he doesn’t talk on the phone the whole time I help him.” As I approach him, I debated . . .  
(1) should I stand there and wait for him to get off the phone?
Or, (2) should I talk to him as if he was not on the phone?
 (3) If he wants to continue talking on the phone, he should stay outside until he is finished.
Or, (4) if he wants to talk to me, he should end the call so he can focus on the business at hand.

Deciding it was his responsibility to end his call, I spoke to him like any other customer, possibly a little louder than usual.
“Hi. How can I help you?” I could hear someone talking on the other end of his phone.
“I am here to pick up an order.” He said, barely moving the phone away from his mouth.

I located his order, handed him the invoice and showed him where to sign. He asked to borrow a pen, cell phone still glued to his ear. Incredible!  

I told him how much his bill was and he handed me his credit card. I wondered if the person on the other end was his wife or girlfriend telling him a really long story, because he did not respond at all to whatever she was saying. I wondered if the girlfriend, or whoever, could hear him talking to me, or me talking to him. I ran his credit card and he signed his receipt. He took his order and thanked me as he left, never moving the phone away from his ear. I don’t know how he heard what I was saying, but there was no way he was focused on what the other person was saying either.

As he walked away, I wondered how much I am like that with God. I want desperately to hear Him and have an intimate relationship, but sometimes I walk around with my cell phone, or some other distraction, glued to my ear.
*When He has something important to say to me, am I too focused on the task at hand?
 *Do I let the worries, stress and concerns of my life constantly play in my ear, when God wants to speak to me, or give me an opportunity to do Kingdom business? 
*Sometimes it is my own thoughts, grocery list, things to do, things to remember that ramble through my head, when I need to put my distractions, or my actual phone, down so I can spend time listening to God.

Just like everything else in life, when listening to God,
“There is an appointed time for everything . . .  a time to be silent and a time to speak.”   Ecclesiastes 3:1,7

Do you ever get distracted when you spend time with God?  How do you keep from getting distracted?

***This is Day 19 of the series 31 Days of Hearing God. I am joining others in the October writing challenge at To read more in this series click here for all the topics.


  1. Such a perfect analogy. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I often get distracted, so I find myself praying that He will help me give Him my undivided attention. :-)

  3. Oh, yes ... I often use my iPad as part of my quiet time ... but distractions abound. This morning, I pulled out my print Bible. Makes a huge difference.

    1. I agree Dianne. I do better with my print Bible also.

  4. I used to get really distracted when I prayed. Now I write everything down in a prayer journal--it keeps me focused on my conversation with God.

    1. Yes, that helps me as well, and it helps me keep track of prayer requests.

  5. Oh yes... the love/hate relationship we have with technology and our phones! ;) Great analogy! When I find myself distracted, I focus on my breathing and slow it down... take fuller, deeper breaths... allow the oxygen to do its' work... peace comes back and I turn my attention once again to focus only on Him!

  6. What a great illustration. We can get so distracted, and then wonder why we don't seem to hear from Him.

  7. Perfect picture of how I "pray." Thank you!