I remember with special clarity the first night we spent in the house where we now live. Exhausted from moving, we went to bed early, but I was soon awakened by the noises of someone in the house! I jumped out of bed to confront the intruder, but soon discovered that no one was there; the noises I heard were the heat going on, and the unfamiliar creaks of a new house. As the days went by, I became accustomed to these background noises and soon I no longer heard them.

Routine helps us to make life easier, but at the same time can be a very real danger. Statistics show that new drivers have relatively few accidents because they concentrate so hard and obey all the rules. It is when driving becomes routine and the rules are no longer religiously followed that accidents happen.

This is also true in our spiritual lives as well. Even things as basic as the Ten Commandments seem so obvious and routine that we cease to give them our full attention. Slowly, without even noticing, we come to the point where we neglect them entirely. God continues to speak to us but we have long since stopped hearing. It is not that God does not speak to us in the modern age, but that because of inattentiveness, we have stopped listening.

How much better it would be if we were like Samuel. Despite a tumultuous life, he was always attentive and could say with all honesty and candor, "Speak, Lord, for your servant hears." (I Sam. 3:9). Let us, therefore, set aside a quiet time each day in which we listen attentively to the quiet inner voice within. Perhaps then when God speaks, the people of our day will also hear.