This story, perhaps you have heard before, is one of my favorites and one even I’ve shared before. This story, whether true or simply legend, is, I believe, a great lesson of a truly mature perspective on life and priorities.
There was a Native American visiting New York City and he went walking, escorted by a friend who lived there. As they were walking and talking in the busiest section of Manhattan, the Indian stopped and told his friend that he could hear a cricket. His friend, of course, thought the idea of hearing a cricket in downtown Manhattan was crazy and he asked his Indian friend how he could possibly be hearing a cricket. The Indian insisted that he could really hear a cricket and that, given a minute, or so, he could find it. Again, the Native American was challenged by his friend who identified the subways passing underneath, the taxis roaring and honking, the throngs of people talking, and brakes screeching as the conditions that make it impossible to hear a cricket. But the Indian persisted, as he began to walk further and cocked his head. His friend closely observed as the Indian walked to the end of the block and crossed over to the other side of the street and walked up the street before moving on to another. Then, he went over to a cement planter out of which a tree was growing, reached into the mulch, and pulled up the cricket. “I told you there was a cricket around here someplace!” he exclaimed as his friend looked on in amazement. His friend asked how he could hear the sound of a cricket with all of the big city noises that were around, to which the Indian replied “It’s all a matter of what you listen for.” Then he said, “Watch this.” as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a number of coins, held them up high, and then dropped them so that the noise of the change could be heard. Immediately, everyone within the block stopped in their tracks and turned to look for the money. “I told you it’s all a matter of what you listen for – what’s important to you,” the Indian said to his friend.
The questions that we need to answer and the lesson for all of us is “What do we “listen” for?” and “What’s really important in our lives?”. Do we heed the things of this world and our culture? Is that what our priority or strongest influence is? And, it isn’t always about money or materialism. Sometimes it’s about things or activities that occupy our time and minds. We need to ask the question about what we listen for because of the prevailing atmosphere of our society and culture, where self-satisfaction, glamour, and attainment of wealth and fame – earthly treasures - are the priorities. “No one can serve two masters…you cannot serve God and mammon (wealth - NASB/money- ESV).” (Luke 16:13) “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth…but…in heaven…For where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” (Matt. 6:19-21) “Do not love the world or the things in the world... the world is passing away…but he who does the will of God lives (abides) forever.” (1 John 2:15-17).
We should try to make sure that God’s Word shapes our perspective and that we strive, daily, to learn His Truth and live by His Will. HIS PROMISES SHOULD CONTINUOUSLY BE OUR HOPE AND TREASURE. Together, God will continue to bless us as we strive and grow toward true spiritual maturity!