Eyes on me, quiet mouth, listening ears. This is what I say to my bible class of children, who are three years old, when I want their undivided attention. Eyes on me, they must have their focus on the teacher, they must look at me. Quiet mouth, they must stop talking and be quiet and not be a distraction. Listening ears, they must tune out the background noise and tune in to my voice. Not an easy task for someone three years old.
Most of the time I have something to say that they like hearing and quickly respond. It is story time, craft time, time for music or play or snack time. But sometimes what I have to say is not fun or easy to obey. No running or shouting, no hitting or pushing, it is time to clean up. And the really hard thing to hear–we share all of the toys all of the time with everyone.
Eyes on me, quiet mouth, listening ears. Not an easy task for me either and I am way past three years old! And yet this is what is asked of me when I am with my Teacher. And like a child I tend to forget and need to be reminded again and again.
So often when I am reading my bible or praying I find my thoughts are on friends or family or co-workers or someone in the news. Obviously, my eyes are not looking where they ought to and my focus is clearly not on the Teacher.
While reading or in prayer my mouth may be quiet but my mind is not. I am thinking about the list. You know, the list. Things to be done, calls to be made, errands to run, laundry, grocery, e-mails. I do not need someone else to distract me I am surely my own best distraction.
And listening ears. I may hear what is being said but I am not really listening. As the saying goes, in one ear and out the other. To have listening ears is to hear attentively with deliberate careful thought, with respect for the one speaking.
And like children most of the time when I hear Him say “eyes on me, quiet mouth, listening ears” I am happy to focus, be quiet and listen because I know I will hear something I need to hear. I will find clarity in something that has been troubling me, answer to prayer, encouragement, a promise. And, of course, sometimes what I need to hear is not so easy to hear. Be still and wait, it is time to clean up the mess you have made, no pouting because you did not get your way. And the really hard thing–forgive because we always share His love with everyone.
The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice and I know them and they follow Me.
John 10:27 The Amplified Bible
I wonder how many more years it will take me to keep my eyes on Him, keep my mouth quiet and have listening ears all without being reminded?
It is a wonder that He is okay with reminding me again and again.