It was Germany against Italy in the quarter final of the 2016 football (soccer if you’re American) tournament in France. It wasn’t the most obvious trigger for a spiritual thought for me. Maybe I should be more open than that.
Germany were on the attack. Draxler, the German player, played a pass to his German colleague (I don’t recall his name) but he played it too fast and his colleague couldn’t get to it. The attack broke down, chance gone. The commentator commentated (as commentators do) that the teammate Draxler was trying to pass to wasn’t expecting the ball to be hit so fast. To be fair it was probably Draxler’s fault because a fast ball was the wrong ball to play at that time. Nonetheless his colleague wasn’t expecting the ball to come that quickly and as a result wasn’t in the right position to receive it.
It made me think…
He wasn’t expecting a fast ball from Draxler so couldn’t get to the ball. He was expecting the ball to come a bit slower in which case he’d likely have got the ball and had a goal scoring chance.
He wasn’t expecting a fast ball from Draxler…
Therefore the goal scoring chance was missed.
My mind worked the way it frequently works.
It made a quantum leap.
Many spiritual lessons come from making leaps, quantum or otherwise, from everyday observations and situations. Situations like not expecting the ball to come so fast. Situations like not expecting the ball to come the way it did. Situations like only being prepared for the ball coming in one way and not being adjustable enough to get the ball if it comes in a different way.
It made me think of some sermons I’d heard from speakers in churches and devotional talks and conferences and similar places.
There were some speakers who tended to be quite energetic and for want of a better word, loud, in their sermons or talks.
So if the speaker started out speaking softly and with lower energy then I wasn’t really listening because I was waiting for them to reach what I considered their usual, higher energy and louder style.
But the high energy and louder style didn’t appear. The whole sermon was low energy and spoken in softer tones. It took me until maybe half way through the message to figure out that this softer style wasn’t going to turn into a more high energy style. Only then did I begin to listen to what was being said instead of waiting for the style I was expecting. What had I missed by assuming I knew how God’s message would come? What had I missed by not being open minded about how God might choose to speak or indeed who God might choose to speak through?
Am I missing the still small voice by expecting the big loud voice and only listening for that?
Am I missing the big loud voice by expecting the still small voice and only listening for that?
Am I missing what God is saying by not being open to the full range of God’s styles of communication?
Am I missing what God is saying because I’m only listening to the ‘usual suspect’ voices? Are there voices I’m avoiding because of my own prejudices and therefore missing God’s voice?
Am I listening at all?
Perhaps time to readjust my listening frequency to ‘open to all channels’.