Hark! Means Listen
“Hark the herald angels sing, Hark! Means listen there’s a newborn King,” sang the Valor students last week, as they rehearsed for the Christmas program. I had the opportunity to be a substitute for the Music classes on Wednesday and Friday, thoroughly enjoying the experience! Yet, I found that by Friday evening, all I could hear “playing in my head” were the words and music which I had heard and sung over and over again for two days!!
According to Merriam-Webster.com: hark-verb/ˈhärk (harked; harking; harks) Definition of hark-intransitive verb (without an object), usually imperative: to pay close attention : LISTEN. Synonyms-attend, harken, hear, hearken, heed, listen, mind; Antonyms-ignore, tune out.
Dictionary.com gives the definition for hark: 1) to listen attentively; hearken. 2) verb (used with object) Archaic- to listen to; hear. 3) noun hark-a hunter’s shout to hounds, as to encourage them in following the scent. 4) Verb Phrases-hark back, a. (of hounds) to return along the course in order to regain a lost scent; b. to return to a previous subject or point; revert: He kept harking back to his early days in Vaudeville.
Two things really stand out. First, hark is not a passive imperative. One must NOT BE a passive listener, but an active one, paying CLOSE attention, listening carefully!!
Second, one should listen to hear, heed, follow, as hounds would a scent in the hunt. That’s with precision and intensity, as if following after something with passion!
A third note taken from this is what I heard (and spoke) over and over in Music class, was that which I then heard replaying over and over in my head! In 2005, the National Science Foundation published an article regarding research about human thoughts per day. The average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those, 80% are negative and 95% are exactly the same repetitive thoughts as the day before, of which about 80% of those are also negative. If you are like others, then you probably have negative and repetitive thoughts going through your head too! And, WHAT WE LISTEN TO HAS A DIRECT CORRELATION TO WHAT THOUGHTS AND WORDS GO THROUGH OUR MINDS!
To what are we listening? What is going through our hearts and minds throughout the day? Are we listening to God’s words, to our words, to something that lifts us up or tears us down?
Proverbs 4:1 in the NIV says, “Listen my son to a father’s instruction, pay attention and gain understanding.” In the New Living Translation it reads, “My children, listen when your father corrects you and instructs you. Pay attention and learn good judgment.”
Our heavenly Father wants to speak to us and give us instruction so that we may gain understanding and good judgment all day & night long! He is a good Father who wants to teach us good things. Let’s spend time listening to scripture-His Word, to encouraging messages, to worship music, to psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, so that we can have those playing over and over in our heads. Let us not be passive listeners,but active and attentive ones, hearkening to the voice of his word!