I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.
As Steve and I left our local Safeway store a few days ago we both observed a myriad of people both coming and going in the parking lot.Some on foot.Some in cars or on bikes.They all were talking on cell phones.Talk.Talk. Talk.They could not even manage to shop for groceries in silence and peace.
Steve commented to me as we observed this"We sure live in a talky world,don't we?"I had to concur with him.We do live in a very talky world.It's everywhere.As I pondered this sad state of affairs I commented back in reply"People can't learn anything if they're always talking."
And it's true when you really think about it(or even if you don't because you're one of those people who seldom stops to think because you're always talking :) ). To learn requires a certain measure of listening.And listening carefully as Mr Hemingway's lovely quote states.
But for some it's a difficult thing,this listening. Our personality may be more extroverted so we cannot seem to not talk.But as one is more introverted and quiet, I must confess that I too have trouble listening at times.
Sometimes I struggle to listen when someone is coming to me with the same problem time and again and seems to prefer to dump on me emotionally rather than change the behavior that has caused them to need to once again dump on me emotionally.It gets tiring and frustrating for me.
Which makes me wonder how God feels when I do the same thing?Does He get as frustrated with me as I get with others?I don't think He does but I do not want to presume or assume anything.I too struggle to listen even though I am a more quiet person.
I come to God,in prayer,most often in writing form,for it suits me and my personality.Talking out loud to Him is hard when one lives in a really small space that is also inhabited by one husband and 2 cats.
So I write to God.And I ask for answers.I ask for clarity.And I should wait for an answer but I often don't.It's most often due to those other voices in my mind talking to me,reminding me of all the other things that need to be done here around our apartment.And those voices win more often than I care to admit to.
And yet,the ability to listen,really stop and listen is such a necessity in this overly noisy world we dwell in.Listening to others is important but to learn to listen to God is far more important.He is the One who matters most.He is the One who can give peace.He is also the One who really and truly loves us like no other.We will see that,feel that,know that if we just listen.If I just listen.