We listen to our spouses, our bosses, our children, our neighbors, ourselves, our own impulses, our stomaches, our own mouths, our cars when they rattle or squeak, our homes when they creak, radio, television, podcasts, but do we take time to listen to God?
We say prayers, make requests, say things we’ve said before, babbling on, searching for words, making petitions, waiting for answers in comfort for ourselves or friends, discuss medical issues, say a little prayer, but do we listen?
The other half of prayer is listening. The other day my brother, Brent, said he started his day with five minutes of silence–it wasn’t the first time he’d ever started the day in silence but perhaps the first he’d done intentionally in silent waiting for the Lord. I’m 40 this year, and it has taken me this long–I’m a slow learner– that the other half of prayer is listening and waiting in silence on God.
Here’s something to try: Sit down in a comfortable chair to put on your shoes. After you slip them on or tie them, don’t get up yet. Sit and wait in silence for five minutes. Ask God for a new awareness today of his goodness. Listen.
We’re working through several books in our church right now.
1. We’re doing a Route 66 study on Wednesday nights. Each Wednesday we survey another Bible book. We’re on Jonah this Wednesday night. I start each class with, “Well, Jeremiah (or whatever book we’re studying) is my favorite book.” God’s word is incredibly powerful and rips apart our assumptions and changes us. When we read it again with open hearts, we find we are not reading as much as it is reading us.
Back in Nashville again. I’m posting this from a coffee shop called The Frothy Monkey. Pure Nashville 21st Century with musician artists blazing the web on their Macbooks, perhaps self-Googling to see who’s noticed their music today.
I left a piece of my heart and writing work here in Nashville and make trips three times a year to catch up with writing/editing projects, keep up with a few friends, and, this trip, come to ZOE Conference.
Brian McLaren will be here later today and speak twice Friday and once Saturday. Looking forward to how his talks on “Via Contemplativa and Via Activa” fold into the Growing Deeper sessions with our spiritual directors, Randy Harris, Jackie Halstead, and Gary Holloway. Participants will hear Randy’s and Brian’s keynotes then attend sessions on Sabbath, Silence, and . . . can’t remember the other one right now.