Hearing and Listening Are Not Necessarily the Same

As big as my ears are, you would think I would be able to hear everything I am listening to.

I like to think I am hearing what I am listening to but I have so many illustrations that prove otherwise. I’m not sure what it is, but I am working on it with the help of the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.

It was on a Friday and I was very busy trying to get things done for the weekend. Some in our domicile can multitask and then the other can hardly do one thing at a time.

I’m not quite sure how my wife does it, but she can do half a dozen things at the same time and get them all done perfectly. It is like one of those jugglers at the circus who can keep half a dozen balls in the air at the same time.

Not me. I can’t even keep one ball in the air at the same time, let alone half a dozen.

I was busy trying to get ready for the weekend when the wife came in and said, “Can we borrow your truck on Monday?”

I grunted and nodded my head in the affirmative.

“We need to move some furniture to a storage unit.”

Now, in those two sentences she used the word “we” but I heard the word “I.”

I am okay with her borrowing my truck and doing whatever kind of business she needs to do. A marriage works that way. One has a truck and the other borrows said truck.

I should have thought something was up, but you know how it is with us men. We do not think unless backed into a corner and we cannot do anything else. All through the weekend when I saw my wife, she would look at me and smile and nod her head. I smiled and nodded my head back at her. After all, isn’t that what a good relationship is all about? Smiling and nodding your head at each other.

As I recall, it was a rather pleasant weekend and then it was over.

Early on Monday morning my wife came into the living room where I was watching TV and drinking my morning cup of coffee. I can’t start any day without my coffee. Whoever invented coffee should actually get a Nobel Peace prize.

My wife came in and looked at me and said, “Are we ready to go?” Then she smiled and nodded her head in my direction.

At the time, I had no idea whatsoever of what she was talking about. Where were we going to go? I had no plans for the morning. It was my one morning to chill out and catch up on my resting.

“You know,” she said with a big smile all over her face. “We are going to borrow your truck and move some furniture to a storage unit.”

“We,” I said very quizzically. “Who is the we? And what are we going to do?”

Then she explained to me that on the past Friday I had agreed with her that we would use my truck and move some furniture to a storage unit. Now, for the life of me I did not remember that. All I remember was the word “I.” All things being equal, I assumed she was asking if she and somebody else could borrow my truck and then she and somebody else would move some furniture to a storage unit.

My failure was I did not think to ask who that somebody else was. I had no idea that that somebody else was me.

If you want to have an argument with your wife, think twice about it and then forget about it. Even when you can prove she is wrong, and I never can, she is always right. The best thing to do is to go along so that you can get along.

So, “we” borrowed my truck and then “we” moved some furniture to a storage unit. It took us all morning and not being in the best shape of my life, I was kinda wore out. I never worked so hard in my life that I could remember. All I did that morning was nod my head and smile until we were finished.

It was about noontime when we finished and when we got into the truck she said to me, “Goodness, it’s lunchtime and I haven’t prepared anything for lunch. Do you suppose we could go out for lunch?”

To this day, I wonder if that wasn’t the plan all along. “We” would borrow my truck and “we” would move furniture and then “we” would go out to lunch. That’s where the “we” stopped.

As we finished our lunch the waitress brought the bill and the “we” changed to “me.”

Driving home from the diner my wife sighed very deeply and said, “We sure had a wonderful morning didn’t we?”

I nodded and smiled and kept driving.

Musing along the way I could not help but think that sometimes listening and hearing are two different things.

I believe Solomon understood this very well when he wrote, “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels” (Proverbs 1:5).

I may be hearing what my wife is saying, but I may not be listening to what she is saying. The not listening is what really gets you into trouble.

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