I am currently taking courses on how to become a coach. I have to say, I was skeptical of the training at first, and it is a significant time commitment, but the skills I am learning are really helping. One of the skills on which we spent an entire day was listening. This seems like a pretty basic skill in life. We teach this skill at our preschool (listening ears and walking feet!), yet it honestly seems like we have to learn it over and over again.
Part of the difficulty in listening in our current context is that there are so many noises. I don’t think there is a quiet moment in my day. When driving, I have podcasts going. At my house, there is constant noise either with kids or dogs running around. Even when there is an opportunity for silence, we fill it with noise. Or there are buzzes and dings demanding our attention to other things.
So as part of our training, we are split into groups to practice our skills, and we have to listen to one another. It was challenging. It was uncomfortable and it was humbling, but we listened to one another. Honestly, it was nice to be the one to which someone was listening!
It made me think about the part of prayer that is listening, and also the promise that God is listening. As so many go through our days both not listening, and not feeling listened to, it is a revolutionary thing to listen, and to know God is listening. I want you all to know that I am here to listen to you, I’m even now professionally trained to do so! I am available to coach you if you would like to have that relationship. I also want to encourage that we listen deeply to one another, and listen deeply to God.
As part of our stewardship campaign, we are going to do a series on giving. The first sermon was this past Sunday, and we are going to talk about giving for a few more weeks. I hope you will listen, and I hope I can listen to you. But most importantly, I hope through these next few weeks we will listen to God, and what God is putting on our hearts, and putting on the hearts of our beloved church.