Video from YouTube: Be Still, My Soul by Kari Jobe
Looking back, I haven't always been a good listener, or so my beloved Norwegian tells me. Right now, I wouldn't consider myself a quiet listener to God either, but I am learning. Looking forward, and with God's help, I can learn to wait upon the Lord and renew my strength. Imagine me at my tender age, soaring like an eagle. Could I really run and not grow weary, walk and not faint?
Looking back to my hectic years of teaching, raising kids, gardening, farming, doing my part at church, I was doing things the hard way. I didn't humble myself and ask God for guidance, strength, and support. I didn't do much soaring either. Often, I was tired and grouchy. Now I realize how well God knew me. When I didn't listen to his telling, he slowed me down and showed me I needed rest.
|My grandsons showing Janus looking forward, looking back|
Photo by Jenny Bayes
"He must become greater; I must become less." (John 3:30)
One of my favourite Old Testament stories is the one of God calling Samuel in the night. (1 Samuel 3:1-10) When the Lord called Samuel during the night, the young boy assumed it was Eli calling him, so he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me."
"No, I didn't call you," Eli responded. "Go back to bed and lie down." This happened three times before Eli realized it was the Lord calling Samuel. Eli told Samuel to go and lie down. He instructed Samuel that if the voice calls again, he should say, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening."
Many of us have heard God speak to us. Or we have felt nudges from God to go a different direction, to say something we hadn't planned on saying, to do a kindness for someone who desperately needed it, or to write on a particular topic. I have heard my name called in the early morning, "Sharon, write!" It doesn't get much plainer than that.
In a recent Western Catholic Reporter, I read of Archbishop Richard Smith of the Edmonton Archdiocese speaking at St. Joseph's Basilica. The gathering was celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and National Solidarity with Indigenous People. Smith said in his homily that "the most profound lesson" he had learned from the aboriginal people is the importance of silence and listening.
To read more about listening prayer, here are two good articles on the topic.
"The Basics of Listening Prayer: Adventures in Missions" by Seth Barnes
"Listening to God: An Exercise in Listening Prayer" by Lisa Lamb