What is The Still Small Voice? And what is Listening?
What do I mean (and we, collectively mean) when I/we say Still Small Voice? And what does the word listening really mean? Especially in this context.
You may already have a good idea of what I’m talking about..but let's look at it anyway.
Listening to the Still Small Voice means paying attention to the still small voice inside you.
You may know it in different ways:
Such as: -The voice that tells you not to go out tonight -The instinct not to walk alone to your car at night -The compulsion to walk around the house one more time before you leave and you notice the stove is still on
These are the more practical ways that the Still Small Voice inside of us is watching out for us keeping us safe.
Then there are practical yet more, let’s say mystical, examples of the still small voice: -You find the perfect job and have a great job interview. They offer you everything you could have ever wanted and then some. Yet you don’t feel right about it and agonize but ultimately you don’t take it. You feel like a fool and like you’ve lost your chance. Yet three months later THE manager who offered you that perfect job is in jail for embezzling and not paying the employees. -You are at a great party with friends. The food, the friendship – it’s the best party you have been to all year. All of a sudden, you just don’t feel right and decide to leave. You hem and haw, telling yourself that you are crazy, but you write it off as tiredness and indigestion and say your goodbyes. You leave and find out a few days later, the cops arrived to arrest the host who runs a drug smuggling ring out of the house. All the other guests were detained for 24 hours. And that next day you met the woman who changed your career forever..
These may be a bit extreme but I wonder if you might be able to find a bit of truth in them within your own life.
Then there is the Still Small Voice, that sounds even more crazy, the one that tells you… -Quit your job and open a bakery, though your baking experience is buying the chocolate cake from Costco -While out for a walk, tells you to turn right down a street, taking a route you’ve never taken before in your neighborhood and meeting your new best friend -Order the special of the day and realize that you love the barramundi fish. You research the fish and talk to the guy behind the counter at the grocery store about it. You buy it. You cook it. You research more recipes. You find a fishery that specializes in destination/local food tourism. You happen to be going there for a work conference so you stop in. Then 10 years later you have bought the fishery and use the business and the land and the funds to build back the rainforests in the Amazon. Or you’ve bought the fishery and write screenplays about Australian kookaburas and bandicoots that Disney-Pixar buys for $6 million.
Okay maybe that last one is a stretch…(and guess who just learned about the barramundi fish not too long ago?)
BUT, I imagine most people could look back on their lives and find that random inkling that they had turned into something larger and more important than they first imagined.
That’s the still small voice.
It’s always there – we always have access to it – it’s always telling us what to do next.
Here’s the tough question: Do we listen to the still small voice?
The definition of the word listen from American-Heritage Dictionary via Google:
One: To make an effort to hear something. Two: To pay attention; heed. Three: To give close attention with the purpose of hearing; to give ear; to hearken; to attend.
Listening is not just hearing.
How many things do you hear (and subsequently block out) in a day? In a week? In a year?
The Still Small Voice is not the TV news, the book club pick, your Instagram or tick tock feed. It is like the smoke alarm in a building, cutting through everything to get attention and keep everyone safe.
Except it doesn’t work like a smoke alarm, the still small voice will let everything else in the world drown it out.
So we have to listen, make an effort and pay attention to it and maybe as the definition says “attend” to it. When it speaks, let it sink in and possibly do something with it.
The Still Small Voice is always there inside of you, letting you know what is best for you, protecting you from danger and putting you where you need to be for the good stuff in life. It’s up to us as individuals to really listen for the voice, pay attention and start the dialogue just like you would with someone you just met.