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Are You Listening?


I want to share a thought with you that has been part of my ongoing spiritual quest.  It comes to me after a wonderful weekend here in Colorado when spring spread her wings and touched our cheek with the warmth of the sun.

My spouse and I went to downtown Denver yesterday after seeing a wonderful movie, Billy Elliot (a great subject for another week).  Those familiar with Denver know of the 16th Street Mall, a pedestrian and shuttle bus street that runs the length of greater downtown.  After we had spent time at an outdoor café in the sunshine with the wonderful parade of people, we strolled down to a restaurant for dinner.

We came upon a street corner where a young woman was speaking to passers by with a bible in one hand and the other hand gesturing wildly to make her point.  Like everyone else walking by, I tried not to make eye contact, but still strained to hear the gist of her sermonette.  I wrestled with the question of what compels a person to find a street corner and begin to preach?  Are they crazy, fanatical, seeking attention, or are they moved, driven, or even called?

I used to think that it was odd that God stopped talking several thousand years ago.  The major religions known to us were founded by what followers would call “acts of God” including God speaking to mortals.  Noah, Moses, Abraham, and the list goes on in Judeo-Christian tradition, as well as other faiths.  But after these encounters were recorded so many years ago, did God become silent?

I remember the uproar many years ago when Oral Roberts revealed that God had spoken to him.  Basically the message was, if he did not raise the funds to complete the hospital, then Roberts would be called home to be with God.  Because it involved his teaching hospital at his university, Roberts was subjected to criticism from life long detractors and followers alike.  Although I used to see him on black and white T.V. on Sundays, long before cable gave us choices, I was never quite sure of his “healings”.  I did ponder, “what if he did hear God?”  I quickly dismissed the whole notion as I thought God wouldn’t talk about things such as this.

As my spirituality and faith has grown, I have to admit I am not so sure about my thoughts on this subject.  Have you ever been faced with a challenge that seemed overwhelming in its complexity?  You thought about it and tried to look at it from every angle, yet no matter what, it seemed unsolvable.  Maybe you even prayed or meditated to see if a solution would materialize, but to no avail.  I remember vividly being the CEO of a troubled company sitting in my office on many occasions faced with challenges that were almost unbearable, struggling to find answers.

Then, out of the clear blue sky, a new thought came into my mind, something that had not occurred to me before.  I used to describe this phenomenon as if I was “pushing” on the door so hard only to let up and see that it said, “pull”.

One day as this had happened for the 100th time, I began to think that it was not my skillful intellect that came to the rescue.  What if God had spoken ever so quietly and whispered the answer?  Could it be that God did not stop speaking but we stopped hearing?

This is no Ten Commandments or instructions on arc building, but the problems I face are just as real to me as the challenges that many through history were faced with.  So why would it be so inconceivable that God would talk to me . . . or to you?  Maybe even the lady on the 16th Street Mall heard a voice that compelled her to share a message, or maybe not.  Next time I will try to be a little less judgmental and even make eye contact and smile.  You never know where her source comes from.

The more dedicated I am to my spiritual path, the more I seem to find the answers.  It doesn’t make the journey any easier, just not as lonely!  Listen; really listen and you will be awed by what you hear.

With respect, acceptance, and love,


R.D. Olson

© R. D. Olson and Awaken The Soul, 2001-2016