Monday, October 31, 2011

Are You Listening?

“Hiro, are you listening to me??  I asked you a question!”  It was another Monday afternoon and Hiro, my adorable, yet difficult, 4-year-old client was once again giving me a run for my money during our therapy session.  He wasn’t paying attention to anything I was saying and refused to participate in what I had planned.  “How am I supposed to help him with his language problems if he won’t listen to me??” I asked myself in frustration.  Every time I asked him a question, he would talk about a number or a color he noticed hoping that that answer would be sufficient. That was his typical reaction when he didn’t know the answer to something.  Instead of working hard at figuring it out, he blurted out something about numbers or colors, something that he was really good at.  Later during the session, he started getting out of his seat and copying everything that I would say to him.  When he realized that I wasn’t going to back down and let him go off and play Candy Land, he stuck his hand in front of my face and said, “stop talking!”  Was this really happening?  I was literally speechless.  Hiro then looked at me with a serious face, pointed at me with his tiny 4-year-old sized finger and stated, “This One, bad.”  When Hiro forgets my name, which happens every session, he calls me “This One.”  He was calling “This One,” Deanne, bad??  I was hurt, confused, and tremendously disappointed.

The therapy session felt like a complete failure.  All the time I spent carefully planning out the session felt pointless and I wished at that point that Hiro was old enough to understand how much I cared.  How much I wished that he would just pay attention so that I could help him get better.  If Hiro would just pay attention, he would improve very quickly.

Isn’t it the same with us and God?  God knows exactly what areas of our lives need improvement.  He plans out perfect therapy sessions for each of us every day.  Sometimes we show up and sometimes we don’t.  And even if we do, we don’t always pay attention.  We don’t listen to His carefully thought out activities that, we may not always like, but are designed for our improvement and growth.  When we realize that God is challenging us to grow in our weaknesses, we don’t like that it’s hard.  And what we do instead is bust out with our strengths hoping that they will compensate for our weaknesses.  Sometimes we get so fed up that things aren’t going the way we want them to that we stick our hand out in front of God’s face and say, “stop talking!”  And sad to say, we can get so selfish and self-absorbed sometimes that we even forget the name of God.

It makes me smile that God could take this makes-me-want-to-rip-my-hair-out-of-my-head-little-boy, Hiro, to teach me about the true Hero in Heaven, God my Father.  God is the perfect therapist and He has the perfect session planned for you and me everyday.  Let’s pay attention and stop trying to be the heroes of our own lives.

The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10

Deanne Kazumi Snell

1 comment:

  1. Awesome object lesson! Annnnnnnd I can totally relate!!