As Jesus walked through the streets of Jericho we see what a magnificent listener he was. Mark 10 tells us that although the crowds surrounded him all wanting something from him, he heard the plea of one spiritually desperate blind man. This makes me wonder how much I fail to hear what someone is really is saying because I’m so focused on all the rest of the “noise” of my busy, relationship filled, over sensory stimulated life.
Listening is not a passive activity. It involves leaning in and tuning out distractions. It validates someone else. It lets them known they are heard, cared for, and understood. It requires a sacrifice of time, our most valuable asset. It requires turning the spotlight of our attention off of ourselves for a time. Listening models the image of God to someone, because he is the one who always listens and understands.
“The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.” Isaiah 50:4
As a part of our series on Rhythms of Life, I have issued another challenge; for us to listen. This week, Iv’e asked that you carve out two small pieces of time.
1. Take a piece of time wholly devoted to listening to God. Talk to him in prayer. Read his word listening to see what it speaks to you. Then, just listen. Listen to what he is speaking to you through nature, his word, your situations, or even the voices of others in your life.
2. Listen to someone else. Maybe its a conversation you’ve overlooked or avoided having with someone. Maybe there is someone on your heart that you need to invite to coffee or dinner. Whatever it looks like for you, intentionally ask a few questions of someone and then LISTEN.