listening vs reflecting

February 15, 2006

Monday, we had a short staff retreat at a cabin in the mountains. The huge snowflakes and precious few seconds I actually got to use 4WD made the trip worth the drive, but that wasn’t the main highlight. Upon arriving, we began by just taking an hour to ourselves to sit, think, pray, read, whatever. It was wonderful.

Between family, full-time ministry and part-time school, life keeps me busy. Even in the midst of all those things, I do a pretty good job of creating space. I need to have some times where I just sit to refill my mind and soul, so I spend a lot of time reading, studying, and journaling with the goal of sustaining myself amidst everything else going on. I’ve found that I have to have those times to keep my from completely draining myself, and I create them and protect them.

But I realized something on our retreat. I’m pretty good at reflecting, but not so good at listening. Much of the space the I create is spent just reflecting on what is going on around me, or dreaming about things I hope to shape around me. But as I sat there that day with no agenda, I realized how little I truly listen…to God. I’ve felt that just because I have space, I’m doing well, but I’m realizing the space I do create isn’t fully what it could be. Reflection itself is a wonderful thing, and I think God speaks through those times, but even moreso, I need to find time that is agendaless, where I can just allow God to speak to life beyond my circumstances.

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