Are you listening?

Listening to God in a distracted world.



are-you-listeningThere is so much noise raging in society today, distractions at every turn, less time to focus and even less time to listen to what’s most important. Although this statement stands to be a statement of truth, it’s also a statement of choice.  Take a moment to think about the three questions below:

  • Are you listening?
  • Are you choosing to take time away, from the worldly distractions, to listen to God?
  • Do you know what you’re meant to do with youlife or are you guessing, day by day, living on luck rather than faith?

Hours are spent watching TV, texting, Facebook, computers, video games, et…   It’s easier to get distracted today than probably any time in history. So many choices are available.   There seems not be enough hours in the day to do everything we WANT to do with our time. Are you choosing to spend the day doing what you think you’re meant to do with your time? If so, Is this working or are you feeling unfulfilled?

“When distracted, which has happened more times than I personally care to admit, it becomes apparent I’ve gotten off the path God intended.”  -tonya steele, editor of

Only through reflection, closely looking at the desires of my heart, do I realize what God’s placed within my soul as my true desires.

Desires are meant to point us in the direction meant to fulfill God’s plan.  It’s easy to ignore these desires though because they don’t fit into our “life” plan. Has it ever seemed our desires are impossible, unobtainable or make little sense to pursue?

God’s desires placed upon the heart will almost never be simple.  In fact, most people are discouraged when sharing their desires by others saying “that’s a waste of your time!”  If God planted the desires they will never be a waste of time.

To discern what God is saying we must listen, which is easy.  There is a saying I’ve read or heard somewhere that goes something like: “we listen to respond, not really listen to what’s being said to us”.   This quote stopped me in my tracks and I wondered how many times have I listened to respond instead of listening to understand?

Listening to understand is different than listening to respond.   Conversations where we listen to respond is for our own benefit, to defend of our own thoughts and opinions, not to understand or empathize with the person speaking to us.  In reality, when we listen to respond, whether we are right or not doesn’t matter because we aren’t holding a conversation, rather we are choosing either to agree or debate what’s been spoken.

  • Is this what we do with God?
  • Do we defend our choices instead of listening to what He is telling us?
  • Do we stop and sit in silence away from distractions to listen?

Only through silence, quiet time without distractions, will we hear God’s voice directing us to the correct path. The path leading to fulfilling the desires God placed upon our hearts. Otherwise, we’re left to guess, easily distracted, feeling lonely, lost, unfulfilled or as if something is missing. When this happens, instead of running to God, we will typically blame the person(s) closest to us, blame our jobs or even God. Why? It’s easier to place blame on someone or something else than to admit we’ve not listened, got distracted and lost our way.  Blame keeps us from facing reality.

No one likes to admit defeat or wrong choices but in order to follow God we must humble ourselves here on earth by being strong enough to admit our faults, the wrong choices we’ve made, ask forgiveness and allow God to redirect our paths.

In the book of Matthew we are instructed to take the narrow path. There may be fewer people on the journey, meaning less distractions and choices but it grants more quiet time to discern the voice of God. Worried you’re to far off track or it’s to late to listen?  It’s never to late but it is a choice, your choice, whether or not to listen, seek God and His direction.

“It doesn’t matter how many times you get distracted or swayed away; it matters only that you’re led back to God and His plan.” –Tonya Steele, editor of cheatham news .com 

Keep listening, praying and stopping at different crossroads to discern if you’ve let this world distract you and if so, listen and allow God to take your hand, leading back one step at a time.

Tonya Steele

Are You Listening was inspired after watching Touch by an Angel on October 23, 2015, on the UP Channel on Direct TV.



VIATonya Steele
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I’m a dedicated, fair and objective reporter/journalist currently reporting and writing for the I-24 Exchange Newspaper, circulated and distributed each week to nearly 10000 residential mailboxes, in Northern Cheatham County, Tennessee. My main objective for Cheatham News is to provide current news coverage with a wide range of compelling topics that interest the youth of today, elderly and everyone in between through an online platform. Cheatham News will focus on local and county news including politics, breaking news, community schools, sports, city and county council meetings but there’ll be more the local news. I aspire to focus on what life is like, in our little corner of the world, where my family and I live in a small southern town. The southern sayins’, ole wives tales, recipes and mannerisms are a part of history I’d like to keep alive in the fast paced world of today. It brings me joy to share the uniqueness of life in a small southern town. You can learn more about myself, representatives and sponsors affiliated with Cheatham News and contributing authors biographies and credentials under the ‘About’ tab on the Home Page.