Are You Listening?

April 20, 2016

Sometimes we misunderstand each other. I heard something that wasn’t said. I feel an attitude that wasn’t meant.
Recently I texted my son asking how work was going. (He was helping at church with the two younger boys.) He responded, "Great."
Later when he made a comment about how bad it was with one of the boys, I said, “But you said it was ‘great’.”
He gave me that look of incredulous disbelief. “Mom…it didn’t have an exclamation point.”
“And…? What does that mean?” I ignorantly asked.
“Mom, it was sarcasm. It couldn’t get any worse.”
I laughed. So without a punctuation mark, one word indicates the end of the world? (I better edit my articles better!) “I’m sorry. When I received ‘great’, I stopped worrying about whether the boys were listening, and helping. Instead, I should have been praying harder."

My husband and I were talking. (Yes, we do that.) He said something. So I acted upon it. Later, he said, “I thought I told you to wait.” I considered, “I thought you decided upon this action, but you just had to process how you would complete the task.”
That wasn’t what he meant…I have to remind myself that I’m like Paul—get rid of John Mark, he’s a hindrance. And my husband is like Barnabas—let’s help a brother out, let’s consider, let’s wait. (I hate waiting, by the way.) I somehow heard only part of it. My husband is patient with my ‘leap ahead and do it’ attitude, I’m not so patient with his ‘wait and see.’ But we sometimes make communication work. Maybe, I think….

Sometimes I wonder, if I even listen to people. How could I get it so wrong? Am I like that with everyone, all the time? If I can’t even hear people, how do I hear God?
God brings me to these times to slow me down…think on what He is telling me…listen with my heart.
If I can’t hear God, then I’m not listening.
If I’m not listening, then I’m too busy.
If I’m too busy, then my tasks are my idols.
Puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10.

What helps you to slow down and listen to people and to God?

Boy, do we all need that reminder. It's too easy to listen and not hear. Thanks for talking about this, it's so very important.

I'm still way behind on my emails, will get there! I keep yours, knowing that when I have a chance to read them, they will speak to me.

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I write about what you---
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               Sonya Contreras

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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