Sometimes we want to do, do, do when perhaps it’s time to wait, wait, wait. We don’t do well at waiting in our American culture, instead, we worship the god of busyness, work and money and it leaves our souls feeling empty.
But I gotta work else I lose everything!
We can lose everything either way.
It seems my life is a combination of listening, ignoring, falling down and listening again.
But still, I try to listen.
We were created to listen, to hear the voice of God, to hear the sound of love but we drown it out because we’re scared. We’re scared that if we stop, it might reveal what’s truly going on inside.
When we get busy, we shut off our frontal cortex, the part of the brain that is rational and logical. Sometimes our mind is telling us – don’t talk to that person, don’t get into that business relationship, don’t text that man, but our emotions are activated and we do it anyway and we pay the consequences.
It’s happened to me so many times, but still I try to listen.
Emotions are not bad. I just wish I could discern which of them are ducks and which are geese. I don’t like geese, a long time ago, one of them bit my 5 year old daughter and I almost made geese stew that day.
In fact, emotions are the guide to what is true but only when submitted to truth. The Scriptures say “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord”, and “whatever is true, whatever is lovely, think on these things”. In other words, submit your emotions to God.
We are not very good at submitting.
We act and react, we make knee-jerk decisions that sometimes work out, but often, they blow up in our face. Are you with me?
So what’s the answer to making good decisions?
Listening is a lost discipline, we need to practice listening. Social media, the noise of our friend’s problems and complaints, our boss, traffic all scream at us all day long, so we must practice the art of Listening.
Here’s what I recommend. Here are 10 Steps to Avoid Making Knee Jerk Reactions:
1. Go to your back yard or quiet place in your house or apartment. You may have to leave the house if it’s too noisy
2. Turn on your favorite worship song
3. Read your favorite passage three times. Avoid reading 10 verses, choose one verse instead
4. Read it outloud three times, each time reading it more and more slowly. Breathe
5. After each reading, pause, listen to the sounds around you and wait
6. Listen for an impression, a word, a phrase, a picture that comes to mind
7. Do this three times
8. If nothing comes to mind, don’t be discouraged, again, we’re not used to listening, it takes time, don’t give up
9. If all you think about are the noises and stresses of your surroundings of your day, don’t ignore those thoughts, that may be the voice of God. Give those thoughts to God in prayer by saying “I surrender….”
10. After 5-10 minutes reflect on what you heard, tell a friend, write it down, offer a prayer of thanksgiving and go on your way
This is the practice of Lectio Divina (Sacred Reading), or listening to God, I’ve practiced it for many years and it’s taught me to quiet my mind and listen.
I pray that today you will hear the voice of God. That you will soften your heart and listen to the voice inside, the voice of the Spirit, the voice guiding you forward.
I leave you with a passage that teaches us how to listen from Psalm 95
Come, let us worship and bow down.
Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,
7 for he is our God.
We are the people he watches over,
the flock under his care.
If only you would listen to his voice today!
8 The Lord says, “Don’t harden your hearts as Israel did at Meribah,
as they did at Massah in the wilderness.
Thanks so much for being here.
Thank you for reading.
Have a great rest of your day
I am here for you, loving you, cheering you on.
Your #GOZO! friend,