Listening Exercises

May 18, 2018

The alarm clock blared next to Jake’s ear and jolted him awake with a start. “The alarm already?” he mumbled as he reached for the clock. Jake didn’t know it yet, but today he would exercise his listening skills.

By: Sukeshinie Goonatilleke

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP.

The alarm clock blared next to Jake’s ear and jolted him awake with a start. “The alarm already?” he mumbled as he reached for the clock. The noisy contraption toppled off the bedside table and landed on the floor with a loud thud. Jake frantically leaned over, lost his balance and slid off the bed head first! “Aaack!” he squealed as he landed in a tangled heap on the floor. The alarm continued to squawk loudly from underneath the pile of blankets. “Where are you?” Jake murmured just as his hand landed on it. He quieted the contraption and leaned against the side of the bed. “Whew,” he sighed, panting like a runner who had just finished a marathon.

“Boy, that sure was a rude awakening,” Jake muttered, clamping his hand over his mouth to stifle a huge yawn. Glancing around the room, his eyes settled on the window in the far wall. He disentangled himself from the mess of warm blankets and stood up, stretching and yawning as he made his way over to look outside.

“Wow!” Jake exclaimed as he reached the window. Discovery Mountain was silent and still under a generous dusting of pure white snow. “It’s going to be a beautiful winter day,” he said as a huge grin spread across his face.

After breakfast, Jake settled into his special comfy chair for the favorite part of his day—quiet time with God. He flipped open his Bible and picked up where he had left off reading the day before.  Jake read the third chapter of 1 Samuel, his imagination curling around the story and painting it vividly in his mind’s eye…

Jake could almost see little Samuel curled up in bed. Samuel was drifting off to sleep when he heard a quiet whisper calling his name. He jumped out of bed and ran to Priest Eli’s room. Priest Eli gently shook his head and told Samuel that he hadn’t called him. Samuel made his way back to bed, his brow wrinkled in confusion. He was sure someone had called him. He settled back against his pillow, only to hear the voice again. He ran to Priest Eli a second time but was again told to go back to bed. When the voice called the third time, Priest Eli realized what was happening. It was God! God was calling Samuel! Priest Eli told Samuel to go back to bed and listen. If he heard the voice again, he should say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.”

Jake closed his Bible and stared out the window for a moment. He set his Bible down and walked over to the little closet by the front door. “I wonder if God could speak to me like that?” he mumbled as he looked for his new gloves. “That sure would be something.” As Jake got ready to go to the school, he couldn’t stop thinking about the story of Samuel.

At lunchtime, Jake spotted Wyatt sitting by himself in the crowded cafeteria. He pushed through the sea of students and made his way towards him.

“Hey Wyatt,” Jake said cheerfully as he set his tray down with a loud clatter. “Do you mind if I join you?”  Without bothering to wait for an answer, Jake plunked himself down in a chair and offered Wyatt a big grin. “Sure is a good day for a snowball fight, huh?” he added, gesturing at the window.

“Yeah,” Wyatt mumbled, poking at his mac and cheese with a fork.

“Say, where are your friends?” Jake asked as he looked around the cafeteria.

“They’re outside in the snow,” Wyatt answered as he glanced at the window.

Following Wyatt’s glance, Jake looked outside. Jamey and Kayla were happily throwing snowballs at each other and giggling.

“Why aren’t you out there with them?” Jake asked as he took a big bite of his lunch.

“Because I don’t have any gloves,” Wyatt muttered.

“Oh, well, that’s a bummer,” Jake said thoughtfully. “Your hands must have been freezing on the walk over to school.”

Wyatt shrugged. “They’ll be freezing for the rest of the winter,” he said with a sigh.

“Oh?” Jake raised an eyebrow and put his fork down. “Why?”

“My mom bought me gloves a month ago, but I lost them. And, well…” Wyatt stared at his food, unwilling to meet Jake’s eyes.

“Well what, Wyatt?” Jake prompted.

“I can’t ask my mom to buy me another pair. I know we don’t have any extra money this month,” Wyatt answered reluctantly.

“I’m really sorry to hear that, Wyatt,” Jake said sympathetically. “That’s…” He searched for the right words. “That’s really disappointing,” he finally said.

Wyatt nodded and stared out the window. He looked miserable. Jake slowly ate his food, but he couldn’t stop thinking about Wyatt’s situation.

Boy, I wish there was something I could do, he mused while sneaking a glance at Wyatt.

There is something you can do, Jake, a persistent thought nudged him.

What is it? Jake wondered as he absentmindedly ate his lunch.

The thought continued: You can give Wyatt your new gloves!

Immediately Jake protested. My new gloves! But I just bought those and I really like them! Besides, what would I wear?

As he finished his mac and cheese, another thought came to him: But your old gloves are still in perfectly good condition. You could wear those.

Jake’s eyes suddenly widened. Could this be…? His mind went back to his quiet time with God that morning. Could God be speaking to him just like He had spoken to Samuel? Jake carefully looked around. He was sure he hadn’t heard an audible voice. It was just a little nudging in his heart, but it was as clear as the air in Discovery Mountain. Yes, Jake finally realized in amazement, God is speaking to me through the voice of His Holy Spirit!

Dropping his fork, Jake dug into his pockets and pulled out his brand-new pair of gloves. “Here, Wyatt,” he said, sliding the gloves across the table. “You can have my gloves.”

Wyatt looked down at the gloves in surprise. “Wow, Jake, thanks, but…I can’t take your gloves—what will you use?”

“Don’t worry about it,” Jake said, waving his hand in the air dismissively. “I already have a spare pair at home.”

Wyatt’s eyes widened. “Really?” he asked.

“Yes, really,” replied Jake as he pushed the gloves farther across the table. “Take them, they’re yours.”

Wyatt slowly picked up the gloves. “They look new,” he breathed.

“Well, they’re yours now,” Jake said warmly as he hurriedly stood up. He grabbed his tray off the table and walked towards the door. “See you later, Wyatt!” he called over his shoulder.

“Thanks, Jake,” Wyatt called out after him. “Thank you so much!”

Walking down the hall, Jake broke out into a wide smile. He already knew his quiet time with God was the best part of his day, but this just confirmed it! “Thanks, God,” he whispered. “Thanks for letting me be a Samuel today. I hope that I never forget to listen.”