Listening Well

I have spent these weeks in my sabbatical trying to listen well.

I want to hear God. I want to hear the whispers of the Holy Spirit. I am looking for direction, and wisdom, and guidance. I want these things for our church, and for our family, and for my life.

God speaks. I believe that. But how do we hear?

This summer, I have spent time up on the north shore. I have sat across the table from friends, and I’ve had conversations with pastors that I had never met before. I have read books. I have read the scriptures. I have listened to music. I have sat in silence. I have listened to podcasts.

I have listened a lot.

And yes, I think I’ve heard God’s voice in the midst of these things.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.

John 10:27-28

I love this scripture. And I love that it concludes with a promise: We cannot be snatched out of God’s hand.

The Benedictine order of the Catholic Church has a phrase that I love; “Listen…with the ear of the heart.”

As people of faith, we listen not just with our ears, or even our mind. We listen with our heart. We listen in the framework of relationship. We listened for feelings. We listen for wisdom. We listen with the goal of understanding.

Wen we do these things. we hear God.

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