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Friday, October 2, 2015

Today’s Reading | Matthew 13:10-17

Then the disciples came and asked him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” He answered, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. The reason I speak to them in parables is that ‘seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.’ With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah that says:

'You will indeed listen, but never understand,
   and you will indeed look, but never perceive.
For this people’s heart has grown dull,
   and their ears are hard of hearing,
      and they have shut their eyes;
      so that they might not look with their eyes,
   and listen with their ears,
and understand with their heart and turn—
   and I would heal them.'

But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.” (NRSV)

I have gone through situations before where I found myself not choosing to hear with my ears and see with my eyes and understand with my heart what God was trying to tell me. There are times I feel all of us choose reason over what we feel deep down to be true when facing a problem. God must get so frustrated with me sometimes saying, “Ashley, there are only so many times and there are only so many ways I can tell you the answer to this problem!” Obedience is what God is asking of me.

Why is it that sometimes we find the solution to a problem so much more quickly than at other times? If we are “seeing with our eyes and hearing with our ears and understanding with our hearts,” isn’t that enough to yield a reasonable approach to troubles?

Why is it that one of those three things is usually out of place? God asks for us to be obedient first so that we might receive the wisdom he is trying so hard to share. My twenty-one-year-old brother never answers his phone when I call him to talk and catch up and just recently he answered and we caught up for an hour and a half. He said, “Ashley, what do you know deep down to be true? Do you feel God really wants this for you? You know the answer; you are just choosing not to see it.” God will heal me and God will help me, but only when I choose to listen.

Lord, I pray that you always help me face life’s challenges with an open heart. I pray that you make the decisions I come across in life easier to bear because of what you teach me. Thank you for always being patient with me, even when I choose not to listen. Amen.

Written by Ashley Elskus, Director, Center for Life and Learning

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