A Magnificent Obsession: Listening for God’s Voice…

     I found the book, Magnificent Obsession, a novel written in the late 1920’s by Lloyd C. Douglas, at a yard sale more than 20 years ago. The story is about a wealthy playboy whose near-death experience lead him to re-evaluate his personal priorities. As a result, the trajectory of his life journey was altered dramatically. It was a great read about the power of redemption.

     What fascinated me more than the story, however, was the title of the book, Magnificent Obsession.

    Magnificent: making a splendid appearance or show; extraordinarily fine; superb:

     Obsession: the domination of one’s thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc. [1]
     For over 10 years, my personal ‘magnificent obsession’ has been to hear the voice of The Spirit speak into my profoundly ordinary human spirit. I’m not certain when nor why the gnawing desire to hear God’s voice in personal, authentic, unmistakable ways began, but I do know it’s a desire that only intensifies with time.

     The name of my blog, Listening on the Journey… was birthed from this ‘obsession.’ If you’ve been reading my posts for any length of time, you probably recognize a frequent ‘listening’ theme keeps popping up. Learning how to hear and discern more clearly God’s voice is the primary reason I was motivated recently to begin working with a Spiritual Director.

     I find this journey of listening to the voice of the Divine fascinating!

     My intelligence quotient probably falls within the normal range. While I’m not overly intelligent, I am extraordinarily curious, and I love learning (what I LOVE to learn, which is not math, most science and nearly all computer technology!).

     At this stage of my life journey, what I desire most to learn is that which will cause me—as well as those whose lives intersect with mine—to look for God in our ‘moments,’ and to become better acquainted with God’s character and ways.

     Every cell in me believes God is good and desires good for me—and for you. Even though my belief is strong, I won’t deny the journey of faith is often mystifying. God’s ways seem to be filled with much perplexing paradox. As I’ve admitted before, most of the time, I have more God-questions than God-answers.

     Because of my normal intellect coupled with what may be an ‘abnormal’ curiosity, I love to seek out the perspective of people I believe are smarter and further along in their faith journey than I, which is the reason I recently purchased—and just last night began reading—Mark Batterson’s latest book, Whisper…How to Hear the Voice of God. I’ve always found Batterson’s books are readable and relevant. I appreciated what he says in the Prologue: “Let me make a bold statement…Learning how to hear the voice of God is the solution to a thousand problems! It’s also the key to discovering our destiny and fulfilling our potential.[2]

     Solutions to my life problems?

          Discovering my destiny?

               Fulfilling my potential?

                  This all sounds pretty good to me!

     If you, like me, desire to learn to be a better listener to the voice of God, you might want to get a copy of this book. And, I hope you’ll take time to read several upcoming blog posts about my own adventure of learning to listen to the voice of the Divine. Until then…

Even though we’re a few days beyond Thanksgiving, I’d like to say again how thankful I am for you…

Sue Reeve

  1. http://www.dictionary.com
  2. Batterson, Mark, Whisper, How to Hear the Voice of God, (Multnoma, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York), 2


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