Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Shut up and Listen

I haven't written in this blog in a while. Probably cause I have had ludicrous writer's block. Maybe I don't know what I should say. I don't know what I’ll end up writing about, but I’m going to try with all my might to muster out a coherent thought. If it ends up being profound or encouraging or inspirational, I guess that is good, but I’m shooting for coherent. How am I doing? Its like a truck on the highway with a sign that says how's my driving? Anybody really call one of those numbers? Anybody really care? Sometimes I call the numbers on the sides of food products just cause I figure no one is giving those people the time of day. Recently I tried calling the people who make Frank's Hot Sauce. That stuff is freagin good. I was eating with a group of friends and attempting to try my hand at corporate advertising. Here were the top five for a hot sauce.

(in an intense movie guy announcer voice)
Frank's Hot Sauce: So hot it can make a baby cry.
Frank's Hot Sauce: So hot it can make a blind man speak.
Frank's Hot Sauce: So hot it makes the sun look foolish.
Frank's Hot Sauce: So just shouldn't be this hot.
Frank's Hot Sauce: So hot it can bring a mere child to appreciate Russian literature.

Who knows.

Coherent yet? Nah I didn't think so either. Let's keep going, maybe we'll get somewhere together.

Well, a good lesson I’ve learned in my life but haven't mastered into practice is when you can't think of anything to say....don't. Meaning, you don't always gotta use your yapper. I think to a certain extent silence frightens people. Have you noticed this? It does depend on the relationship and the person but generally speaking, we (as Americans) tend to shy away from silence. Why is that? Is it because we hate awkward? Are we afraid what the other person is thinking? Why should we be?

I want to like silence more. I want to date it. I want to get to know it and learn something in the quiet. There is so much to learn if we just shut up and listen.

Listening is an active process. It is an active process in which we do not have full control. Not talking makes us give away control. I think we hate that too.
If we submit (ooh buzz word!) to silence and commit to listening more what would we learn? Sometimes the greatest thing you can do for your health is listen to your body. When I look in the mirror I see something interesting. Maybe you will think this interesting too next time you're checking yourself out. I have two ears, and two eyes. I have one mouth. That means I have four times as many "listeners" as I do "talkers."

What would happen to our relationships, houses, schools, communities, churches, cities, states, countries and our world if everyone committed every day to listening four times as much as they spoke?!

What would that look like? What would that sound like? Ask yourself, how much time in your social interaction do you spend talking and how much time listening? Interesting.

At heart I believe I am the biggest problem the world is facing. Me. I am a selfish creature and I am infected to the core with ME ME ME.

I believe I am not alone in this condition. Unfortunately, I believe we all want to talk more than we want to listen. I believe we want to be in control more than we want to give it away. Because of this we are in opposition to each other. Conflict and the rebellion of the soul from its loving Creator.

This past Sunday my pastor put it rather bluntly. We hate God. It’s true. Either we hate God or we Love God there is no middle ground. We play games and try to pretend that we are either apathetic or that we care, but when it comes to the heart of the matter we either love Him or we hate Him. This love or hate can be unfounded. It is usually based on faulty or missing information. Hate is usually rooted in ignorance. And so, we do not love because we do not know. We hate because we do not know. If we knew, we would love.

Maybe we have seen something we don’t like in those who are supposed to know God. If you are somebody who has seen something in me that you don’t like, please don’t judge God. I am sorry. I am doing my best to be a servant of The Story. I am learning and listening as best I can.

All in all do yourself a favor and listen. Use those beautiful ears and eyes. See the beauty in this place. See the fingerprints of a creative God. Hear the wisdom and voice of God. Hear the never ceasing chorus of creation proclaiming the only truth that matters. I am.

So maybe I haven’t said anything past coherent. Maybe I haven’t touched coherence. Maybe in your mind I have only danced around with rhetorical babble. Perhaps. All I know is what I feel, what I see in myself, what I see in others and in the world. I just really believe that if we let go and listen we would hear God. We would see God. And if we listened we would get to know God. Maybe then we would accept the love God gives to us. Maybe then we might see a very different world.


  1. Listening is a ministry to those who need to talk. When I listen, I meet their need. I have become an instrument of peace; a vessel through which God is glorified.

  2. You are a genius. I love what you wrote, and I agree with every word. Recently, I have taken a lot of time to just listen (usually involuntary, because of stress or fatigue). I experienced everything you said, and it was wonderful. I heard people in need crying out for help, I felt the personal need for things I didn't know I needed, I was able to help other people get what they needed, and myself get what I needed. Most importantly, I heard God. I heard what HE needed me to do. But, I didn't only hear these things, I listened. I comprehended. I understood.

    Good work. Good choice of words.
    I love what you have written, and I am happy you gave me the opportunity to read it.

  3. Thank you Becca! A genius I am not. lol but i'm glad this encouraged you. You're words encouraged me too! As iron sharpens iron....

    Thanks Dad for your comments as well. I quite agree with you. : )