February 18, 2018 @ 06:59

It is uncomfortable to listen when I think I know the answer, but I choose discomfort over spiritual death. 

Listening means truly hearing and truly understanding, and it means watching for the truths that challenge the ones I thought I knew and not resting until I have wrestled and reconciled completely with the new truth - whether it be a truth that replaces, a truth that displaces, a truth that modifies, or a truth that mixes and fuses and transforms - and its implications for life and living. Listening means being ready to change and grow when the chance presents itself. Listening means never dismissing without testing for a spark of new meaning, and it means tending to sparks that show themselves until they are fires that burn, give off heat, and give me a chance to see in a new light.

On the days that I am having trouble making the choice to listen, being oriented towards listening means I will be able to catch myself in that indecision, and it means I will understand my resistance to listening is a projection of my own disquiet and insecurity and is not a reflection of the rightness or the correctness of my own positions. On those days, resistance to listening is being off-balance, being off my footing and unable to catch the weight of something new, afraid it will break something in my sense of self. On those days, I will do what it takes to get my balance back, to be secure in my core, to be able to make the choice again. 

My Lenten endeavor is to build myself up as a better listener, to remember everyday when I open my eyes that the choice is truly as stark as a kind of life and a kind of death, and to carry that through the rest of my life.