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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by William A. Kolb

Monday, January 17

Let anyone with ears to hear, listen!
—Mark 4:9

Our hearing may be good or it may be failing, but in one sense we all excel—we can hear the messages that life sends. We can see the looks on the faces of those we love, we can feel the touch of others, we can "read" the actions of the world around us and sense what the motives are. All of us can hear those messages.

Yet, there is a distinction as to how we "hear the sounds of life." We can hear with faith or with a closed heart. We can filter out the good sounds and receive only the bad—confirming our conviction that life is a raw deal.Or we can start with a hopeful spirit and see the good times and the good people who populate our world.

At the very beginning of his book The Road Less Traveled (on the New York Times best-seller list every week for more than ten years!), the late M. Scott Peck said that life is tough; once you get used to that, it's not so bad. Peck was right: there is a lot of bad news and suffering in this life. But there also can be and often is plenty of joy, love and fun. There is lots of purpose and meaning.

I don't know that it is such a good idea to "get used to" the bad (which might suggest that we accept fatalistically that it cannot be reduced). It may be that what we need to do is to accept the fact that our life will probably include some valleys. Then we need to go on from there to rejoice in the mountaintops that are always possible—happy moments or days that we may have experienced already—and to rejoice in the prospect that the next one may be right around the corner.

At this time of renewal at year's beginning, let us rejoice in life and all its possibilities. When we do, God will bless our vision, for that is His vision for our lives.


Put the light of your love in my heart, O Lord. Amen.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2007.