Paying Attention

I’m hearing voices I didn’t use to hear. Okay, maybe I heard them, but I didn’t pay attention to them.

Now before you get all worried and start slipping me phone numbers of good shrinks in our area, let me fill you in a little more.

The voices I’m talking about belong to birds—yes, the songs and calls of our feathered friends. I used to hear them as the background and soundtrack to the great outdoors of my life, but they’ve become something more the past several months.

It’s dawned on me that these voices—these songs—belong to certain species of birds, and if I pay attention, I can learn to identify their calls.And if I can identify their calls and am alert to their voices, I have a better chance of capturing  photos—especially of the ones I’m most interested in, like cardinals.  (Kind of neat how my interest in birds has sprung from my interest in taking good pictures, huh?)

So now I listen more. When I hear a bird call, many times I stop momentarily and pay attention. I look for the bird, listen, and then try to remember its sound for future reference.

To be honest, I haven’t figured many out yet, but I have made some progress. I’ve discovered birds even have different calls for different purposes. For example, cardinals sing, but they also cheep-cheep-cheep while feeding and looking for food. I never would have realized that, though, if I hadn’t become alert to them, if I hadn’t started paying attention.

I wonder how many times God tries to communicate with us and we miss it. I wonder if  his voice gets lost in the soundtrack of our lives, especially  if we relegate him to the background and neglect to listen for him.

What blessings might we capture, what pearls of wisdom might we learn if we decide to be alert to God’s voice—to listen for him and then stop and pay attention when we hear him call?

Many voices compete for our attention today, don’t they? Let’s not miss the most important one. Let’s tune our ears to hear the song of our Savior and our God!

“Listen and hear my voice; pay attention and hear what I say.” Isaiah 28:23

*What voices are you paying attention to?

*Flickr photo by fauxto_digit


  1. Birdwatching trains your ear and eye like photography teaches you to see things. We do need more practice listening to God’s voice. Good analogy.

  2. I agree, Elece. Both of these new-to-me interests are making me much more aware of the world around me.

  3. It’s fairly straightforward, isn’t it? The most we listen, the more we hear. Choosing what to tune into is a daily (sometimes moment-by-moment) challenge.

    Great post!

  4. Oh Cheryl what a great post. I so agree listening to Gods voice will bring such wisdom and Blessings!

  5. Cheryl,

    I grinned at your comment about people slipping you phone numbers… :)

    Thank you for you comments on my post “Plotting Murder.” We do a lot of apologizing around our house. :)

    Have a great weekend. I too want to learn to listen and see more than I am now…

    Jennifer Dougan

  6. Kathleen, Alicia, and Jennifer, thanks so much for your comments. So glad you enjoyed the post. Let’s keep on in our efforts of listening and hearing more from God!

  7. Me thinks…

    That in hearing the cardinal’s voice and the voices of other singing birds that you have, in fact, heard the voice of God.

    The magnificent whispers of heaven are all around us. If only we’d stop to listen in.

    I’ll be listening this weekend, friend.


  8. You’re right, Elaine — the magnificent whispers of heaven are all around us. So glad you’ll be listening this weekend!

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