Watching people as you speak to an audience is interesting, encouraging and frustrating all at the same time. I have seen people pay close attention to a sermon while others clip their nails, balance their checkbook, roll their eyes at me and sit there with arms crossed in a challenge to me to bless them with something significant. Sometimes I wonder why some people are in attendance at all.
Years ago, I heard evangelist Tim Lee preach. He preached powerfully from his wheelchair. I had tuned everything else out and watched as he wheeled his chair back and forth on the platform. His legs had been blown off in Viet Nam, but his voice was powerful. The Holy Spirit was at work.
Suddenly, he stopped preaching and directed his words at some teens slouching in their seats and ignoring his message. He commanded them to sit up and listen. They felt embarrassed to become a spectacle that night. Tim Lee picked up where he left off. Those teens sat up and listened to the rest of the message – at least they acted like it.
While I chuckled about it, I realize that God wants us to sit up and listen to His Word. Those kids could have gone home without any improvement. However, if they did begin to listen, they would have learned something. I like to think that they went on to seek more wise things.
I have to ask myself, “How many times have I wasted opportunities to gain some wisdom? How many times have I been a bonehead?” I trust God will continue to prompt me to sit up and listen when I need it.
A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: Proverbs 1:5.