Learning to Listen

The second verse of Amy Grant's song, "Angels Watching Over Me," reminds us that God has given His angels charge over us to keep us in all our ways - even when we are not aware they are there. Amy sings, "God only knows the times my life was threatened just today. A reckless car ran out of gas before it ran my way. Near misses all around me, accidents unknown, Though I never see with human eyes the hands that lead me home. But I know they're all around me all day and through the night. When the enemy is closing in, I know sometimes they fight To keep my fight from falling, I'll never turn away. If you're asking what's protecting me then you're gonna hear me say:" Angels Watching Over Me . . . ."

Most of us want to SEE before we believe that God's angels are there. Amy's song reminds us that they are there - in the dark places, in the secret places, in the "coincidental" happenings. Pause for a moment and reflect on the seemingly small incidents in your life. I'll share one from my own book of memories to jog your mind.

I was returning home from a visit to my daughter in Knoxville, Tennessee. Approximately forty miles from home, I was hot and tired from the drive and long weekend. To break up the drive and cool off a bit, I decided to stop at the Dairy Queen for refreshment. I had enough time to relax a little bit before my evening teaching stint began. A thought passed through my mind: "Wait until you get to Ellijay to get your ice cream cone." I brushed it aside, and turned into the Dairy Queen in Chatsworth, a small town on the north side of Fort Mountain. Another thought persisted, "You'll be sorry you didn't wait. You won't get a chance to rest before you have to go to work."

I ignored it. I had plenty of time! My air conditioner wasn't working very well (needed freon), and I wanted that ice cream!

As I turned into the DQ driveway, I noticed a couple of big dump trucks with distinctive markings on them. They were from Fannin, a county just north of Ellijay. I groaned, figuring I would get behind them later on. But nothing could keep me from that ice cream cone dipped in chocolate!!

There are two roads that lead to Ellijay from Chatsworth: One over Fort Mountain, the other around the mountain. I usually take the road around the mountain - a very scenic drive that is not so curvy and steep. As I drove through the small town, a thought passed through my mind, "You should go over the mountain today." I shrugged off the voice and kept traveling down the highway, passing the road that leads across the mountain. My mind was set: I would take the easier route to Ellijay.

The road around the mountain has some steep, impassable, sections with blind driveways and one must drive with extra caution. Just as I crossed the county line - the worst of these places - the traffic was at a standstill. I could see one of the big dump trucks from Fannin County, a sheriff's car, and a mobile home tilted sideways in the road, making it impossible to pass. I banged the steering wheel, with both hands, irritated at myself, the heat, the traffic jam, and jumped out of the car, and walked up the hill to talk to the deputy sheriff.

"How long will we be here?" I asked him.

He shrugged his shoulders. "Don't know, Mam. Your guess is as good as mine."

From this vantage point I could see what had happened: the driver of the truck pulling the mobile home had misjudged his distance and had backed the mobile home into a ditch, blocking all lanes of traffic. It looked as though we would be held up for a long time. Not a pleasant prospect since it was ninety five degrees in the shade!

"Is there another way to Ellijay?" I asked hopefully, knowing the answer was not one I would enjoy.

"Sure," he said. "You can go back to Chatsworth and cross the mountain."

"I told you to go over the mountain," the thought in my mind whispered as I walked back to my car. I looked at the dump truck sitting there, motor off, the driver with his head lying back against the seat. The other dump truck was nowhere in sight. If I hadn't stopped for refreshment, I would have been in front of both the trucks. I should have listened to the voice long before now. But I had ignored it.

"Near misses all around me . . . ." Amy's song rang through my mind. God was trying to tell me an easier way. If only I had listened! No, it wasn't a life-threatening situation this time. However, it could have been. Would I have listened?

I encourage you to look for God in the small things. Learn from your mistakes (and mine!). Don't be too busy, or too set in your ways to change your course of action. God cares for you and wants to help you. That's why He has given his angels "charge over you." Listen. LISTEN! L I S T E N!

About the Author:
Linda Van Fleet is a freelance inspirational writer specializing in articles and features on Christian lifestyle topics, angels, Internet and social issues. Linda also owns and maintains several websites: Applecity.com, StoverMusic.com, TrueSoulMate.com, Ateau.com as well as content syndication site Awesome Web Essentials. and http://ibelieveinangels.com. Linda has 2 children and three grandchildren.

2005 Linda Van Fleet All rights reserved.

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