Tuning In or Tuning Out

by | Apr 4, 2023 | Dedication, Delight

“Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourself in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live.” (Isaiah 55:2b-3a ESV)

I’m old enough to remember hearing popular radio program announcers say things like “Don’t touch that dial” and “Stay tuned” and “Tune in again next time” that would keep the attention of the listeners during station breaks. I was reminded of that recently when I was driving alone and listening to my car radio. I have some pre-set FM stations that I can find easily with just the touch of my finger on the screen. I’ve chosen a station for weather, news, and traffic, another for classical music, another for interesting interviews, and one with Christian music and messages. I’ve pre-selected them because they are what I trust to be informative or uplifting. However, there is another button that is used less often, to scan across all radio stations giving a few seconds of unfiltered hearing of whatever is being broadcast. In a moment of boredom, I touched that screen option, and my ears were blasted with surprising and distasteful noises full of language in song lyrics that I would have thought were banned. It was as though I had turned into a dark, dead-end alley full of dangerous dwellers. I had not “stayed tuned”. Look what my boredom had done! The words in the hymn, “Come Thou fount of every blessing” by Robert Robinson, “prone to wander, Lord, I feel it” came to my mind. It was time for me to return to the stations that were pre-set to provide what was good for me.

In the account of Martha and Mary entertaining Jesus in Luke 10:38-42 (NIV), we read that Mary had pre-set her priorities and “sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.” Jesus reminded Martha about her priorities: “You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Perhaps pre-setting our priorities is something to consider in these days before us. What distracting messages are influencing our attentions and causing us to wander when we are either bored or anxious?

“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.” (Deuteronomy 11:18 NIV)

Prayer: Our gracious Father, You are the fount of every blessing. Tune our hearts to sing Your grace as we listen with great attention at Your feet. May Your Holy Spirit use Your Word to pre-set our hearts and incline our ears to listen only to You. Amen.

Copyright © 2023, by Sharon Lundquist <lundquistsharon4@gmail.com>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca  
Beaverton, Oregon, USA

Used with the permission of PresbyCan and author.


Tuning In or Tuning Out