I love the differences in cultures that can only be experienced when you’ve been given an opportunity to immerse in them.

Reading about places is great. I can dream.

Being there is opportunity to make errors on a global scale.

We’ve just returned from Amsterdam. On business. Even seeing that in print makes me smile.

I’ve never been here before and had no expectations of what the time could be like.IMG_2515

I wasn’t disappointed.

The weather was lovely. (We left Orlando with high humidity and temps in the upper 90’s.) There were flowers everywhere. Canals lace the city like flowing ribbon.

And everyone rides bikes.

It’s easy to understand why. The streets are narrow, there are places where trying to take a car would be foolhardy, and the time it would take to drive somewhere would be excessive.

Biking makes sense. A wonderful, healthful, fun phenomenon.

Unless you’re walking.

Bikes have the right of way here. Which was a necessary discovery. Getting from one curb to the opposite in a crosswalk seemed like a no-brainer. In the States, pedestrians have the right of way.

IMG_2509I tried that. And got dinged at. Multiple dinging to be precise.

This wasn’t Orlando.

The bikers don’t yell at you or call you names. Both of which would be expected back home.

They ding their bells. And if you don’t move, they ding continuously.

I wasn’t prepared to listen for the dinging.

I realize I often walk around in a pleasant fog of my own creation. I’m either talking to or listening to someone I’m with. Or I’m daydreaming or looking about as I walk.

None of these options works when what I need to do is listen for the dings.

I was nearly struck by a biker. Or two. I caused several to veer into places they hadn’t chosen to go. I received a few angry stares.

All because I didn’t heed the ding.

That can sum up a lot of my life’s issues.

Choosing to listen can be a challenge. I find that often I’ll be with someone, thinking about what I’m going to say rather than really listening. Or I’m planning what I’ll do next. Or my mind finds a wonderful rabbit trail to follow all on its own.

And I get dinged in a conversation.

Those dings never produce positive relational results.

Jesus made a habit of reminding His followers to listen to His words and think about them. When folks asked Him about John the Baptist, Jesus explained that he was the one who would tell of the coming Messiah. Jesus Himself. People didn’t get it.

“He who has ears, let him hear.”   Matthew 11:15

Most everyone has ears. A gift from God to be able to hear. More often than not I use mine to hold up my sunglasses rather than really listen.

I need to choose to hear. Friends and family. Especially Jesus.

Maybe life won’t ding me so much.

 

 

 

 

10 responses »

  1. terry morgan says:

    No wonder I have often felt like a “ding-a-ling”!! 🙂 Loved this, Dayle! What great stories you have… and even better life application! Your posts bring a smile… and an elbow jab… or “ding,ding” to my mornings! Thank you for writing from your heart! Love you, lady!

  2. Grace4mE says:

    Jesus makes the WHOLE DIFFERENCE, Dayle, midst my wrong choices and decisions. And I choose HOPE also! Thanks for the reminders. Maybe life won’t ding me so often, if I follow HIM more often, as well!

  3. debbyshehane says:

    You teach in such a fun way, Sunshine, taking me to new and wonderful places I can’t get to. Thank you for reminding me to listen and listen hard.

  4. alice fredricks says:

    Love the way you find spiritual truth in everyday adventures! I, too, need to be reminded to “listen well.” Love you!

  5. I did get hit by a cyclist there while trying to find the right tram stop. As the sweet lady said, “did you not hear the bell?” no, I didn’t even hear it. Great application, Dayle.

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