Bird Calls, God, and Paying Attention

Over ten years ago now, I started hearing voices I hadn’t really paid attention to before.

The voices belonged to birds. Yes, the songs and calls of our feathered friends. Previously I heard them as the background and soundtrack to the great outdoors of my life, but then they became something more.

It dawned on me that those voices—those songs—belonged to certain species of birds, and if I paid attention, I could learn to identify their calls. And further, if I became alert to their voices and could identify their calls, I had a better chance of capturing  photos—especially of the ones I’m most interested in, like cardinals. (It also dawned on me that my interest in birds had sprung from my interest in taking good photos. Kind of neat, huh?)

So I began to listen more. When I heard a bird call, many times I stopped momentarily and paid attention. I looked for the bird, listened, and then tried to remember its sound for future reference. And just recently I downloaded the Merlin Bird ID App to my phone so now I have this amazing tool to help me identify bird calls.

After learning to pay attention all those years ago, I 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.

More voices than ever 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 NIV

*What voices are you paying attention to?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early November. One lucky subscriber will receive a $15 gift card to Starbucks and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free! *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by fauxto_digit, Creative Commons License