Tim Hansel, founder of APU’s Walkabout experience, writes in his book When I Relax I Feel Guilty:
An American Indian was in downtown New York, walking with his friend who lived in New York City. Suddenly he said, “I hear a cricket.”
“Oh, you’re crazy,” his friend replied.
“No, I hear a cricket. I do! I‘m sure of it."
“It’s the noon hour. There are people bustling around, cars honking, taxis squealing, noises from the city. I’m sure you can’t hear it.”
“I’m sure I do” He listened attentively and then walked to the corner, across the street, and looked all around. Finally on the corner he found a shrub in a large cement planter. He dug beneath the leaves and found a cricket. His friend was astounded. But the Cherokee said, “No. My ears are no different from yours. It simply depends on what you are listening to. Let me show you.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a handful of change—a few quarters, some dimes, nickels, and pennies, dropping them on the concrete. Every head within a block turned. “You see what I mean?” he said as he began picking up his coins. “It all depends on what you are listening for.”
Not only must we have “ears to hear” (MT 13:9); we must learn what to listen for. To what do you attune your hearing?