“Helping you stay connected,” so concluded a radio announcer on a major media outlet this morning.

Connected to what? I asked myself. To whose agenda? For what purpose? Is the content really helpful? From these questions emerged a larger one: Do I discern what I listen to? Through this sense, I expose my psyche to the world around me with its myriad voices: manipulative and inspirational and everything in between.

Like others, though, when tired, unfocused, looking for a quick fix, I’ll resort to what I know as a less than, from which I emerge all the more depleted and anxious, scattershot having piercing my resolve. With difficulty, I reign in the allurement that snagged my curiosity, then reframe the next moment that leads to self-forgiveness and my accustomed silence. Only therein do I discover what I need to learn as I move through my end time. The words, with their guidance, do come…

With the boy Samuel watching that night in the temple, I pray, “Speak, Lord. Your servant is listening.”