Lenten disciplines: Listening
The item I am seeking to add my life for this season of lent has been balance. It is, of course, a lifelong task but for me, particularly at this time, I am seeking to renew my spirit, embrace the mystery around me while trying not to get bogged down in the things that must be done. One way I am seeking balance is through intense listening, to God, to others and to the spirit within me. One article I read recently stated that we are losing the art of listening; instead of listening when someone is speaking to we have already jumped ahead to our response even before they have finished what they are saying. Although this is something I try to avoid when talking or listening to others, I think in my spiritual listening I am continually trying to skip ahead too quickly. I know in my heart the Spirit’s voice speaks in whispers, in echoes in the wind, in the rumblings of the river and through the blossoming of the flowers as it inspires and directs but never rushes to the destination but still I find myself saying get to the point so I can respond. So I must remind myself to listen; to the simple sounds of life around me, to the simple moments of rest and comfort with a friend, to a funny or sad time with my family, and to remember the spirit is whispering. The whispering spirit reminds me of the beautiful story of the overwhelmed and ticked off Prophet Elijah, sitting on the mountain top, waiting for God in the crack of thunder, waiting for God in the roaring wind and after not finding God in the noisy and expected places somehow encountering and hearing the call of God in the absolute silence. So I remember that Jesus calms the storm by calling forth stillness in the midst of the turbulent seas, and that perhaps that is how the waves are always calmed around us. So I invite you to join me in listening this Lenten season to the voice of God in the silence, because perhaps God is calling us like Elijah down from the mountain to listen and to embrace new callings and new life.