Monday, February 9, 2009

A Good Listener

How well do you listen? I’m not just talking about listening to people; I’m talking about listening to God. What is He trying to tell you? Often I’m guilty of rushing into my day filled with busyness and the agenda I must accomplish that I don’t take the time to listen to God. Oh don’t get me wrong, I have a quiet time alone with God, but often it consists of reading God’s word and praying and then jumping into my day. I am now recognizing my own need to listen, and be more intentional about it.

Here’s a thought from Henri Nouwen,
“For me personally, prayer becomes more and more a way to listen to the blessing…Often you will feel that nothing happens in your prayer. You say: ‘I am just sitting there and getting distracted.’ But if you develop the discipline of spending one half-hour a day listening to the voice of love, you will gradually discover that something is happening of which you were not even conscious. It might be only in retrospect that you discover the voice that blesses you. You thought that what happened during your time of listening was nothing more than a lot of confusion, but then you discover yourself looking forward to your quiet time and missing it when you can’t have it. The movement of God’s Spirit is very gentle, very soft – and hidden. It does not seek attention. But that movement is also very persistent, strong and deep. It changes our hearts radically.”

As moms, we may not be able to spend a half-hour every day just quietly listening, but we can spend a little time – even a few minutes- being still and listening to His voice. What am I listening for? His direction, His guidance, His reassurance, His conviction, His comfort. As we teach our kids to be good listeners at school and in social situations, let’s also teach them to be good listeners to God taking time to be quiet and still in order to know Him.

Proverbs 8:33 – 34 tells us, “Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it. Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors.”

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