Listening With All Our Hearts

Five-year-old Garrett, was eager to show his dad, Andy Stanley, what he could read. They sat down on the floor together and Garrett began:

"A man gave an old coat to an old goat. That old goat said, 'I will eat this old coat.' So he did. 'That was fun,' he said. 'I ate the old coat and now I am cold.' And now the old goat is sad."

It took Garrett about three minutes to get through those lines. When he finished, his dad asked him a few questions to test his comprehension.

"Garrett, what did the old man give to the goat?"

"What man?"

 "The man in the story. The man in the story gave something to an old goat. What did he give him?"

"I don't know."

"He gave him a coat. The old man gave the goat a coat.
What did the goat do with the coat?"

"Wear it?"

"No, he ate it."

"That's funny, Daddy."

It was evident Garrett and his daddy had two different agendas. Garrett just wanted to sound out the words right. His dad wanted him to read and comprehend.

Sometimes our comprehension of what we've read is remarkably similar to that of  little Garrett just learning to read. Jesus wanted His listeners to do more than be able to repeat back to Him what He had said. He wanted His words to sink into their spirits and to be expressed through their lives.

Dear Lord, help me to read slowly as though I am seeking to sense the heart of what You are saying.

"I will listen to what God the Lord will say" (Psalm 85:8).