I grew up when citizen band (CB) radios were the ‘in thing’ for technology ( I know I’m showing my age) and were mostly used by truckers to communicate with each other. There are two things that we can learn from the truckers’ form of communication that can help bring peace to ourselves and our households.
First is their call out. For example “Breaker one nine, Breaker one nine, radio check.” was there way of calling out to others that were dialed in to channel 19 to help verify how well their signal was being sent and received. As parents how well do you think you are dialed into the same channel your kids are on? As individuals, how well do you think you are dialed into the same channel that God is on?
Parents often expect that kids communicate on the parent’s level but when we do this, it can lead to miscommunication. Kids, especially the younger ones, don’t have the experiences and the knowledge that adults have. Of course our goal is to get them to a higher level but in order to do that we must meet them where they are at mentally, emotionally and even physically. By bringing things to their level, they are more open and able to comprehend better thus giving us a better chance of good communication.
From a personal standpoint, if God were requesting a ‘radio check’, are you on the same channel as God? Much like communicating with our kids, we need to be on the right channel to communicate with God. If we’re too busy being dialed into the tv, radio, internet and video games, God’s message isn’t going to be received.
As Matthew Kelly suggests in his books and talks, ‘spend some time in the classroom of silence’. Take some time to do your own ‘radio checks’ with God and other people in your life to see how strong those signals are being sent and received because not everybody is going to be on the same channel. It’s up to each of us to open lines of good communication by getting dialed in to the right channel.
The second part of the truckers’ communication is calling another specific trucker. For example “Pappa Bear calling Lone Wolf, Pappa Bear calling Lone Wolf, you got your ears on?” Today we have many things, messages and people to listen to but it’s not just a matter of listening (‘got our ears on’) but also what type of ears do we have on.
During my dad illness, my mom and sister would take him to the doctor and it was amazing how different the reports back from the doctor were depending upon who I asked. I remember after one visit my mom reported that the doctor said they would set dad up with some therapy so he could walk again. During the next phone call to my sister, she was shocked that was the message mom heard because the doctor did prescribe physical therapy but said nothing about dad being able to walk again. It was then that we realized that mom had ‘different ears on’ so that she could hear what she wanted to hear.
I had a similar experience with watching one of the tv evangelist, Joel Osteen. He is pastor at one of the mega churches located in Texas. When I first saw him on tv and saw how big his following was (they own the former Compac Center and have a weekly attendance of over 43,000) my first thought was that he was just another money hungry tv preacher. So as my wife and I would listen, the ears that I had on were focused on proving that Joel was a fake, a ‘feel -good’ preacher who didn’t have a real message and was only out for money. There were times when he said things that I interpreted in a way to prove myself being right. But after I stopped judging him and started letting go of all the negative talk about him, I started to listen to his words in how they can help me personally and help my clients. I began to hear things in a whole new light and his messages have taken on a new meaning which have helped me and others.
How often in your life do have on the ears of prejudice, anger, or resentment? If you’re a republican, what ears do you have on when a democrat speaks and vise versa? Unknowingly, we do the same thing with family, friends, co-workers, bosses etc. Image how much more peace and happiness we would find in our lives if we listened for the good and the positive. Imagine if we listened to understand our kids from their perspective, not ours. How we think about people or events influences how we see and hear. I encourage you to open your mind and heart so that you can hear a whole new world.
Keep on trucking!