Daily Step – How do you listen best?


Do you get much space these days to just listen?

I mean, REALLY listen.

No thinking. No talking. No processing. 

Just pure quiet listening.

Yes? That’s awesome! What are you hearing?

No? Yea, me neither. What’s wrong with us? (Kidding)

I do try to be still and listen.

But my brain is not a brain that is ever… quiet. It always has more to process, dissect, and invent. It always has a dozen rabbit holes to go down.

This weekend, I tried the quiet listening thing again.

I tried super hard actually. 

I got in my car on the way to get groceries Saturday morning, and I said aloud to God: 

“That’s it! I have decided! I am not going to think about any problems this weekend. None, zero, zip!”

I took a breathe and continued, “But God, I’m gonna need your help. Every time an issue pops into my head uninvited and I start thinking, processing, solving, creating imaginary problems to tack onto existing ones… I need you to help me shoo it away right out my brain’s door! Can you do that?”

Then, I ended my prayer, “I want to just be quiet and listening for two whole days. That’s it. That’s all. Amen.”

And, oh boy! That first minute after that prayer! It was so quiet! I listened like a champ!

And then a problem popped right through my brain’s door uninvited and I was down five rabbit holes before I looked up into the cloudy sky shouting: “Hey, God! Can I get a little help here? I’m supposed to be all quiet and listening right now!”

It took me a bit to remember that when I try to control my brain and dictate my listening, it doesn’t really work for me.

Instead, I have to listen in the midst of noisy, crazy life I lead. I have to catch God’s messages in between my brain’s rabbit holes and take note of them as best I can. 

The poem continues:

“Some of them, after a while,
jumped up
and disappeared back inside the busy town.

But the rest —
so quiet, not even thoughtful —
are still there,
still listening.”

So maybe you are one who remained still…

Or maybe you are one who just had to jump back up and disappear into the busy town of your brain and/or your life.

Either way – God is speaking.

Either way – there is much to be heard.

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