Listening

7 Jan

Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Psalm 143:8

Are you a good listener? Do you take the time to tune in rather than tune out? Listening is a high energy activity. It requires many aspects of bodily involvement. We often fail to use all our power when listening because it is easy to grow impatient with the story or we may have disagreement with the speaker, or we feel tired or distracted for many reasons.

The image below is a construct from the Chinese language that brings us the word for listening. If you look closely, the Chinese interpretation of listening requires four components– ears, eyes, undivided attention and the heart. I first saw this image years ago in a communication textbook. It was captured in the chapter on listening.

It would seem that real listening requires much from us!

Now then, if we struggle to listen to our human companions, what about listening to God? Or better yet, what about listening FOR God; for messages from God as the Psalm above suggests? How challenging that might be!

Ears, eyes, undivided attention, mind, body spirit and soul!

I once read an article about listening that spoke of the hard work it requires sometimes –such a workout that one may actually break into a sweat doing the listening.

It is now 2022. I may contemplate my listening skills and consider being more prepared in the new year to hear words from my family and friends and to be patiently attentive for messages from God.

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