Listening is a lost art
We are all surrounded by noise, besieged by commotion; it sometimes seems that every moment of every day, there is a different sound that arouses our attention. Sometimes it seems almost impossible to find silence in everyday life.
From the rustling of sweet papers in the cinema, the tapping of a computer keyboard during a lecture, the cry of a baby in a hushed restaurant each sound is either music to the soul, a dance of the spirit, a missed beat of the heart or perhaps a distraction to the mind.
Memories are full of sounds that have shaped our lives. What we have listened to can help us relive the pleasure of the past. A steam engines whistle, the song of a blackbird, the chimes of a church bell are just some sounds that make my heart remember moments of my childhood.
But more than this, listening is the joy of discovering the wonders of the creation we have been placed into. It is so much more than just hearing a sound or a word it is the art of concentrating and meditating on the communication so that it drops into your heart and changes your perspective.
We have all been in conversations with people where it soon becomes apparent that they are hearing us but not listening to us. Sometimes you can see the clogs whirring inside their minds as they are thinking up a response to our words before we have finished talking. To get everything from a conversation it is important that we listen to each word and let them ferment inside before we utter a reply. Only by listening can we give the speaker the respect they deserve.
Jesus was the fountain of all truth every word he spoke came direct from the Father’s palace, every parable was a river of wisdom, revealing who he was and the love and grace of his Father. He spoke and those that had ears to hear heard, but those that wanted their hearts renewed listened.
This year I felt a deep sense that Christ was drawing me into a place where I could hear the whisper of his voice above the noise and commotion of everyday life.
Christ is united with me in my spirit, he is with me every second within my heart, he is there and he never leaves me and never forsakes me. In every mundane task, from emptying the rubbish bin, cleaning the office, making kids sandwiches he is constantly whispering his affection and direction into my life. All I need to do is listen to his still, quiet voice in my heart.
Creation is whispering to me, with the sound of leaves rustling on the breeze, the birds singing in the trees. Life is whispering to me, with motorbikes revving up in the street, shopping trolleys jangling on the tarmac. People are whispering to me with smiles to brighten my day and words that encourage my heart. My family is constantly whispering to me in the commotion of life. My God is whispering to me as I take my every breath.
This year for me needs to be a year where I tune my ears and my heart to listen. To be aware of all the glorious communication that is coming to me for all sources and to be aware and listen to the still quiet whisper within me.
Through this year I hope to share poems, share scriptures, share thoughts, share other’s insights that have blessed and challenged me, share a tapestry of images that all add to the increased awareness of the creation that surrounds me as I listen to its awesome beauty and appreciate its amazing variety.