Practicing the Art of Listening May 1, 2015

The woman left worship that day with one parting arrow:  “You can’t teach people how to love.  They either have it or they don’t.”  Then she walked away, but listening between the lines told me that the woman carried a lot of pain, pain in relationships that were unfulfilled.

We are called to love God with everything that we have and we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.  Loving God, loving self and loving our neighbor involves many things, but definitely if we are not listening to God, self and neighbor it is hard to really love.  Yet it was Richard Foster who wrote many years ago that “noise, hurry and crowds” were enemies of the soul.  Later Eugene Peterson wrote that the “twin perils of ministry are ‘flurry and worry.’  For flurry dissipates energy, and worry constipates it.”  One more quote, this time from Sue Monk Kidd, “We tend to be long on butterflies and short on cocoons.”

Well, enough of quotes.  How about spending one day, about six hours away from noise, away from hurry, away from crowds and away from flurry and worry.  Instead take some time to be a cocoon and put into practice some well-worn exercises in listening to God and to yourself.  Through the past centuries and millennium the People of God have learned how to listen to God.  On May 30, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. about twelve of us (you need to sign up either with me or in Grace Lutheran’s Office) will leave the “Church that never sleeps” as Pastor John so often calls us, and go up to the old, but very beautiful Freeborn Lutheran Church near Stanwood, WA.  There we will have time together and alone, but not really alone for we will be listening to the Spirit of God within us.  Come and give it a try!

Cost is an offering to Freeborn Lutheran, and if we take the church van $5.00 for gas.  You do need to bring a sack lunch and some walking shoes.  We will be able to spend some time at the Bonhoeffer Botanical Gardens adjacent to the church.  This is an amazing project that is happening in connection to Freeborn Lutheran.