Tuning Out

“What did you do at school today?”

“We answered questions about our life.”

“Can you give me an example?”

“I was asked what I want to change.”

“What did you say, sweetie?”

“I wish you would listen more.”


Let that sink in.

Double ouch.

I went into serious self-evaluation mode. I tossed and turned at night; I couldn’t sleep. Several days after this conversation, I questioned her more about what she meant and how I could listen better. She eventually said, “You always listen to the big things, but not about the snack I want or how I want to wear my hair. Those little things are important to me too.”

I’m guilty. I wholeheartedly listen when she’s upset or we are discussing a serious issue. If a teachable moment pops up, I drop everything to have a meaningful conversation. But, throughout the day, when the background chatter is overwhelming, I categorize those as “small details”. I dismiss them, and I tune out.

As I prayed about what she had said, I realized something. I do the same thing with God. When there is a big storm in my life, I pray without ceasing. I read Scripture and cling to its promises. But, when everything is going well, and I’m dealing with normal day-to-day frustrations, I tune out from my relationship with God. I trust Him with the big storms, but not the small details of life.

When we originally had this conversation, it crushed me. I felt like a failure. But, now I realize — God used her to teach me a lesson.

“Simpletons only learn the hard way, but the wise learn by listening.” Proverbs 21:11
“Wise men and women are always learning, always listening for fresh insights.” Proverbs 18:15

I must learn to listen … to everything.

Do you remember Jesus’ first miracle? He was at a wedding reception, and the wine was almost gone. To the bride and groom, this was a huge deal. In the grand scheme of things, though, I would consider this a small detail. No one was dying. No one injured. No mass tragedy. To me, making wine isn’t on the same scale as raising Lazarus from the dead. I mean, they just needed more wine. It was a want, not a need.

Jesus still took the time. In John 2, He instructed the waiters to fill six jars with water. Each jar held 20-30 gallons. They then filled the pitchers and took them to the host. The host took a drink and shouted to the groom, “Everybody I know begins with their finest wines and after the guests have had their fill brings in the cheap stuff. But you’ve saved the best till now!”

What seems small to others may be important, even life-changing, for you. Don’t minimize what’s important to you. If it matters to you, it matters to Him. He cares about every little detail. And, He will always listen.