Keep your ears open.
I have tinnitus. For the ear savvy among you you’ll know that means I hear noise when things are silent. For me tinnitus is a high pitched constant tone that used to drive me to distraction. What frustrated me most is it was inescapable. I couldn’t close my ears, avoid the sound or run away from it. The ironic thing is that tinnitus is often stress related, so the more frustrated I got the more noticeable the sound became, which increased my frustration, which in turn increased the sound… I have to admit at times I thought I was going mad.
Everywhere I turned nobody had any answers, I was told to ‘google’ my symptoms, don’t! Googling symptoms always leads to the worst conclusions! I went for an MRI scan, saw doctors who told me nothing could be done and could offer no explanation. I needed a specialist but it took me to push and push for someone to refer me, until finally I rang an audiology department at the local hospital and said I needed to see someone!
Enter Doctor Robinson, Audiologist and superhero extraordinaire.
Have you ever experienced that moment when you connect on a level with someone and you realise suddenly ‘finally, someone gets me!’ For me this normally happens when I meet someone I have loads in common with. But in this instance it was a doctor who had time and was prepared not to just dismiss me.
I was so relieved when she didn’t just send me away, when she offered a possible solution I could have cried! The solution involved a hearing aid, waiting a month for that hearing aid, and then giving things time to change.
Part of me didn’t relish the thought of going another month with ringing in my ears, another part of me was stupidly self conscious about the hearing aid I would have to wear. I wanted an instantaneous solution but this was going to take time.
A month later I went back to the audiologist to get my hearing aid fitted and the levels checked, it was so strange at first. Everything felt so loud, so clear. I hadn’t realised how much stress my head had been under just trying to compensate for my hearing and the added pressure of trying to concentrate, added to the frustration of asking people to repeat things constantly. The difference was amazing.
Looking back the whole experience has taught me something. We are so deaf in life sometimes. Not physically, but spiritually deaf. We fill ourselves with so much ‘noise’ that distracts us from hearing properly. We spend so much time filling ourselves with the world, technology, distractions that we damage our hearing from God. It’s so easy to find a million other instantly gratifying things to do than to risk sitting with God for a while and actually hearing him.
It’s only when we go to God the specialist and lay the distractions before him that we realise how deaf we’ve been. Only when we put our iPads, iPods, iPhones down and put our ISelves into Gods presence that we can hear clearly. He’s our specialist, He created us, he won’t dismiss us or send us away, He has time for you. Use it.
Today’s challenge: Have a technology free hour, get back to basics with God and just listen.