“Listen and Take In More Instruction”
1 The book of Proverbs portrays wisdom as calling out: “Listen, for it is about the foremost things that I speak, and the opening of my lips is about uprightness. I have counsel and practical wisdom. . . . Listen to me; yes, happy are the ones that keep my very ways. For the one finding me will certainly find life, and gets goodwill from Jehovah.” (Prov. 8:6, 14, 32, 35) Those words well describe the instruction that awaits us at the “Teachers of God’s Word” District Convention.
2 The needs of the worldwide brotherhood have been analyzed, and the convention program has been prepared to address those needs. The spiritual instruction and practical suggestions that will be offered can, if applied, help us to be happy, to maintain a good relationship with Jehovah, and to stay on the road to everlasting life. Certainly, we have good reason to “listen and take in more instruction.”—Prov. 1:5.
3 Before the Program: To benefit fully from what is presented, we need to be in our seats and in the proper frame of mind when the program begins. This requires good personal organization. A key factor is to get an early start. Get to bed early the night before. Wake up early enough to give everyone in your group time to get ready and to have something to eat. Arrive early at the convention site so that you can find seating and care for necessary matters before the program begins. Doors will open at 8:00 a.m., and the program begins at 9:30 a.m. each day.
4 Since the primary purpose of gathering is to praise Jehovah “among the congregated throngs,” each session should open in a manner that magnifies our God. (Ps. 26:12) To that end, all are encouraged to be seated before the opening song is announced. This is in harmony with the Scriptural admonition: “Let all things take place decently and by arrangement.” (1 Cor. 14:40) What does that mean for each of us? When you see the chairman seated on the platform during the musical prelude, promptly take your seat. This will enable you to share wholeheartedly in the song that opens each session, lifting up praise to Jehovah.—Ps. 149:1.
5 During the Program: Ezra “prepared his heart to consult the law of Jehovah and to do it.” (Ezra 7:10) How can we prepare our hearts to receive the instruction Jehovah provides? As you review the titles of the various parts listed on the printed program, ask yourself, ‘What is Jehovah telling me by means of this program? How can I use the information to benefit myself and my family?’ (Isa. 30:21; Eph. 5:17) Continue asking those questions throughout the convention. Make note of the points that you plan to use. Take time to discuss them at the end of each day’s sessions. This will help you to retain and apply the information.
6 Concentrating for several hours at a time can be a challenge. What can help us to resist the tendency to drift mentally? Take advantage of the power of the eye. To a large extent, what we focus our eyes on commands our attention. (Matt. 6:22) Therefore, resist the urge to turn your head at every noise or movement. Keep your eyes focused on the speaker. Follow along in your copy of the Bible when a scripture is read, and keep your Bible open as the text is discussed.
7 Christian love will move us to avoid disturbing others while the program is in progress. (1 Cor. 13:5) This is “a time to keep quiet” and listen. (Eccl. 3:7) Therefore, avoid unnecessary talking and moving about. Minimize trips to the rest room by planning ahead. Do not eat or drink until the designated time, unless serious health factors are involved. Those who bring cellular phones, pagers, camcorders, and cameras should not use these in a way that distracts others. Parents should arrange for their entire family—including teenagers—to sit together so that they can properly supervise their children.—Prov. 29:15.
8 Last year an elder who has been attending conventions for many decades observed: “I felt that this convention was outstanding for another reason. Almost everyone in the audience was taking notes, including young children. It was a delight to see. Bibles were put to good use when speakers called for them to be opened to certain passages.” Such attentive listening is truly commendable. It not only brings benefits to us and to our fellow convention delegates but above all glorifies our Grand Instructor, Jehovah God.—Isa. 30:20.