Becoming a Better ‘Listener’…

     In a little less than two weeks, we’ll celebrate Easter. Today’s post includes excerpts from one I wrote the day after Easter 2017. As I re-read these words, I was reminded the contemplative discipline of silence—learning to listen with the heart—is progressive. I realized even though I still have challenges, I’ve grown significantly in this area. A year ago, I needed to make myself set aside times of solitude and silence. Now, they’re an almost-daily practice—times I treasure and prioritize because my soul longs for them.

     As we prepare for the wonder of Easter—and, as I am processing my educational pilgrimage to Spain—I hope each of us will desire to become better ‘Listeners.’

     Two spiritual practices I find challenging are solitude and silence. I tend to ‘talk’ more than ‘listen.’ It’s easier for me to ‘do’ than to simply ‘be.’ A Dallas Willard Lenten devotional challenges me to pursue these disciplines: Dr. Willard says:

“Among the practices that we learn to engage in to enable effectual focus upon Christ is a combination of solitude and silence…These are root-reaching practices that slowly bring us to an understanding of who and what we really are…that allow God to reoccupy the places in our lives where only he belongs.” [1]

     I’m at a juncture in my journey when I want more than anything else for the spiritual work being accomplished in me to be “root-reaching.” I want to produce good fruit that develops from the inside out—fruit not I, but only the Spirit, can produce.

     As Holy Week 2017 closed, so did my meditations in the Gospel of John. One of those last mornings, I was struck particularly with words Jesus spoke to Pilate in John 18:37 “…For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come…to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” (emphasis is mine)

     The prayer I entered in my journal that morning was simple.

Jesus, I believe you are Truth. I want to be one of those ‘everyone’s’ who is of the Truth and listens to your voice. Holy Spirit, teach me to be a better listener—to hear the voice of Jesus more clearly. Amen

     A simple congregational meditation Pastor Rodney Wright led us in during our Good Friday service at Lake City Church, plus photographs my husband took during the [2017] season of Lent, sets a tone for the spiritual disciplines of solitude and silence.

C:\Users\Sue\Desktop\Ron Photos\Blog Post Pix\Be Still Bench.jpg

C:\Users\Sue\Desktop\Ron Photos\Blog Post Pix\Be Still Pink Flower.jpg

C:\Users\Sue\Desktop\Ron Photos\Blog Post Pix\Be Still Moon.jpg

C:\Users\Sue\Desktop\Ron Photos\Blog Post Pix\Be Still Kayak.jpg

C:\Users\Sue\Desktop\Ron Photos\Blog Post Pix\Be Still Bird.jpg

Blessings on your journey into stillness…

Sue Reeve

  1. Biblegateway@e.biblegateway.com – Excerpted from Knowing Christ Today: Why We Can Trust Spiritual Knowledge by Dallas Willard

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1 thought on “Becoming a Better ‘Listener’…

  1. In our busy lives, it is very difficult to “be still” – at least I struggle with that often. Thank you for a beautiful “word picture” of how to become a better listener. That prayer at the end will become part of my life!

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