Most of us have been blessed with a brilliantly designed mechanism for hearing that is fully developed in utero by week 35. After that, our hearing continues to grow and develop, helping us to mature as functioning adults in our world. What we “bend our ear” to affects our life, no matter our stage of life, and is something we perhaps could pay better attention to.
Even in nature, we see uniquely designed hearing apparatus for each creature, so that even they can “bend their ear”. Check these few out:
- Barn owl – has 1 high ear and 1 low ear, even it’s face catches sound waves to help it hear & it’s hearing doesn’t decline with age
- Wolf – with ears that rotate to capture sound, it has the best long distance hearing
- Gentoo penguin – can hear under water
- Rabbit – has one of the largest hearing ranges
- Greater wax moth – it’s eardrums are attached to their bodies
- Bladder grasshopper – has 12 ear organs located on its abdomen
- Katydid – has ears on their “knees”
- Mosquitos – have long atennae covered in sensitive cells that detect sound
- Sheep – sensitive to subtle differences in sound, able to detect changes in weather, recognize the identity & location of predators, and locate water
Greater wax moth
I have come to realize that we are like sheep in more ways maybe than we understand.
You see, sheep are generally silent animals. Although they do communicate, they do so using vocalizations as alarms, or attraction. They are grazers, and yet because they eat most food above ground, they are often called “browsers”. Their lives rotate between grazing and ruminating – which is when they bring back up the food they recently digested. (See, people are browsers and bring up what they just digested, too.)
Like many of us, they are social animals and like hanging out with their familiar flock. They, too, find it stressful when isolated from their buddies. And like some, they show aggression (butting) to maintain their social status.
But their hearing is excellent, the best of their senses (although their smell is excellent too). They have a greater range of hearing than we do. They can direct their ears in the direction of a sound, each one, individually! The sound waves arrive at each ear at different times with differences in amplitude, giving them precise and accurate location and identity of friend or foe. Science has shown us that their hearing is so keen, they can detect the slightest variation in the sound of rainfall and even the rate of rainfall.
Because of their ability to detect the presence of threats by sound, they are referred to as “auditory-based perception” creatures. They quite literally know how to “bend the ear”.
Do we? Do we know how to “bend the ear”? Do we pay attention to what we are hearing? Do we recognize what we are hearing? Are we able to identify it’s source and determine whether it is friend or foe? Can we detect the coming rain? How is our auditory-based perception?
I believe it was Epictetus, the Greek philosopher who said, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak”.
Bladder grasshopper, 12 ear organs
The thing about what we hear is, it makes a difference in our life. Those sounds, words, alerts, attractions – those things that we bend our ear to, are like seeds planted in the garden of our heart. Those small, sound-seedlings will sprout and produce a crop in our life. What we hear produces fruit in us.
I am sure that is why we are told,
Listen carefully to what I am saying and be wary of the shrew advice that tells you how to get ahead in the world on your own.”Mark 4:24 The Message Paraphrase
As maturing adults, we learn to listen carefully, to bend our ear to those things that will build our faith, because faith comes from hearing. Romans 10:17 We learn to recognize alerts, alarms, and even imenent rain. With our keen spiritual hearing, we are able to discern friend or foe, faith or foolishness. With our two ears, we can listen twice as much to voices that build our faith.
I pray that we, each one, consider just what exactly we are bending our ear to, what are we directing our hearing towards and what has taken root in our life.
The mighty God is speaking today, in a clear and booming voice. May we be like the barn owl, who hears with his ears and face, and whose hearing never declines.
Bend your ear, my friend. Pay attention to the voice of the Lord.
- The Holy Bible
- BioExplorer.net; February 24, 2023; Top 16 Animals with Best Hearing