Listen…and wait

This year I am determined to master the art of listening. I might not accomplish it, for more and more I think it might be a gift or a talent that I’ll never truly encompass. Yet, the Bible has a lot to say on the subject. James 1:19 states “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak…” and Proverbs 1:5 says “let the wise listen and add to their learning..”

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Eggplant seeds are slow.

In the past I’ve learned some hard lessons when I did not listen intently.

  1. I missed opportunities in relationships, expressions, and even in publishing.
  2. I “misheard” directions, advice, and others’ hurts, concerns, and praise.
  3. I followed my own rambling thoughts that overshadowed the still small voices of God and others.
  4. I sat back and watched as a spectator as others enjoyed life experiences.
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Dwarf magnolia will take years to grow.

Now I’m learning that listening involves many aspects that add value to my daily life.

  1. Patience–waiting for answers, directions, results
  2. Active–listening is not passive. On my part it takes action.
  3. Silence–my mind needs to remain still and quiet. I don’t need to talk.
  4. Time–I must let go of my hold on my precious hours.
  5. Details–concentration on the words
  6. Acceptance–not always pleasant, sometimes I can’t do anything but listen
  7. Hear new things–birds, wind, animals, voices, music–all the things that make life special.
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Publication can be as slow as a sloth.

What have you learned when you really listen? Is it easy for you?

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