It seems that a certain young man saw a newspaper ad for a job as a Morse Code operator. As you know, that is how the telegraph worked. It would send out clicks over the wire – a series of dots and dashes in Morse Code - that the telegraph operator would then translate into letters and words.
This young man had just graduated from a school that taught him how to do just that, so he went to the office address that was listed to apply for the job. When he got there, he entered a large, busy office that was filled with noise and clatter, including the sound of a telegraph in the background. There was a sign on the receptionist's desk that told job applicants to fill out a form and wait until somebody called them to come into the inner office.
The young man filled out his form and sat down with the seven other applicants who were already sitting there in the waiting area. After a few minutes, the young man stood up, went across the room to the door of the inner office, and walked right in.
Naturally the other applicants perked up, wondering what was going on. They began to murmur among themselves and said that they hadn't heard anyone call them into the office for an interview yet. They assumed that the young man who got up and went into the office made a mistake and would probably be disqualified.
Just a few minutes later, though, the employer escorted the young man out of the office and said to the other applicants, "Gentlemen, thank you very much for coming, but the job has just been filled." You can imagine what the other men did. They got upset and started complaining and one spoke up to the boss saying, "Wait a minute, I don't understand. He was the last one to come in, and we never even got a chance to be interviewed. Yet you gave him the job. That's not fair!"
The employer said, "I'm sorry, but the whole time you've been sitting out here waiting, the telegraph has been ticking out the following message in Morse Code: 'If you understand this message, then come right in. The job is yours.' Apparently, none of you heard it or understood it. But this young man did, so the job is his."
All throughout the Bible, incidents where God speaks to men and women are recorded. In the New Testament Gospel of John (chapter 10, verses 11 and 27), Jesus tells us that He is the Good Shepherd and that His sheep hear His voice and respond to Him.
Yet, sometimes, as we find recorded in the Old Testament Book of First Samuel (Chapter 3, verses 1-21), God speaks and one person hears Him while another does not. Here, the child named Samuel hears God speaking to him while the learned priest named Eli does not. Obviously, the point of the story is that the child Samuel was more attuned to Heaven and the voice of God than was Eli, the High Priest of Israel! As a result, before long, Samuel himself is High Priest and Eli is no more.
It is important for us to make certain that we always have an ear attuned to Heaven. We must make it a habit of listening for God’s voice whenever He speaks to us. For as the simple story about Morse Code above well illustrates, it can be a costly thing to miss the voice of God when He is plainly calling out to us.
STORY SOURCE: Available widely on the internet. See, for instance: https://onlyimagine.blogspot.com/2011/02/sermon-what-do-you-hear.html.
SCRIPTURE SOURCES: https://biblehub.com/niv/john/10.htm and