Tuesday, January 12, 2010

No Caller ID necessary. . .

Technology amazes me. Truly. I am baffled by how people can imagine things and then make them come to life. I've had a home computer for years now, but for all I know if you lift the cover of the hard drive you will find a hamster in a wheel. I don't get how it all works.

For the last nine years of my life I've worked with software that records people's voices. It started out with a cassette recorder, then technology advanced and it became CDs, and now those voices get recorded straight to a computer server. For those that aren't familiar with what I did, a brief summary: I contracted with a few of the Court systems, on state and federal levels. Essentially I listened to Court proceedings and turned those recordings into a hard transcript or manuscript.

Over the course of nine years I did literally several hundred proceedings. Over time I began to recognize certain judges' and attorneys' voices. They would begin to speak and I immediately knew who they were.

This technology is also seen in mainstream society. Our cell phones, computer programs, heck, even our cars, are now capable of "recognizing" our voice. How is this possible? I mean, I can't even understand the science behind it.

And another thing that technology has spoiled us with is Caller ID. What did we ever do before it? We know as soon as the phone rings who the caller is. We can screen our calls now and decide when we want to talk to a certain person and when we would rather wait. I must confess that we went years without this modern convenience in our home. Call me a cheapskate, but I didn't want to pay for things like call waiting, Caller ID, long distance, etc., so I opted not to have it on our plan.

The phone would ring at our house and when I said "Hello?" I really had no idea who was on the other end. But I learned this -- we can recognize voices more than we think.

Sometimes when someone calls I know that the voice sounds familiar, but it takes a few moments to figure out who it is. I have to listen carefully to the voice, the tone, the pitch, the way they're speaking, and sometimes the subject matter they're speaking about. We all have characteristics that define us. Our personalities play a part, our dialect, our speaking habits. And when I'm not quite sure who it is I can use these puzzle pieces to figure it out.

When my husband calls I can guarantee you that with or without Caller ID I KNOW that it's him. The same with my mom, my grandma, my sisters, my brother, my children, and my close friends. Why? Because I've spent enough time with them to instantly know who they are. The same way that after time I knew who certain attorneys and judges were. I listened to them for hours, and sometimes days, at a time.

So why, then, is it so difficult for us to hear the Lord's voice when he "calls"? I've struggled with this concept for most of my christian life. I would pray to him, "Lord, I need to know what to do in this situation, so speak to me!" Or "Lord, I can't tell if what I'm hearing or feeling is you or if it's the enemy!"

Why's it so hard to hear Him?

The Bible says in Isaiah 30:21: Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."

The answer is simple. We can't hear His voice because we don't recognize it. We learn His voice. It comes with time. Time spent with Him. Time spent LISTENING to Him. The more time we spend developing our relationship with Him the more likely we are to KNOW his voice when we hear it. When we come to a point where we know it's the Lord's voice we also gain something else -- the ability to know when it's not. We will no longer be confused by exactly who it is we're hearing. We will know. No Caller ID needed.


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