Listening

The dark red orange stripped sky burns quickly into a cloudy white yellow and so the morning begins, with the bark of a dog and the silence of a sleepy world not yet fully awake to the brilliance of what today will bring. It is in this pre-dawn hour, the magic of inspiration waits to pounce. Remaining silent and sneaking ever so slowly, inspiration moves into the seekers mind. Oh, to be awake enough to recognize and capture the insight before it, like the morning sky fades quickly into the ordinary. It has and always will be my goal to allow God’s creative force to flow through me without limit. So perhaps it is the quiet of the morning that allows this inspiration to be heard or maybe not the quiet but the simple fact that I listen better in the morning before all the voices of the day start vying for my attention.

Listening allows something to be said without controlling what is said. The listener does not correct the speaker. He allows the speaker to speak and listens… to their words, to their intonation, to their heart, and to their intention. The speaker’s point of view is, at that moment, the only point of view, suspending judgment and allowing the speaker one sacred gift, that of being heard. It is a gift rarely given and a gift rarely received. Many times in my life I cried myself to sleep because I just wanted to be heard!  I believe wanting to be heard is a fundamental part of being human. I am constantly working on listening and I for one am not particularly good at it. When I am wrapped up in “wanting to be heard”, instead of listening, I fail to allow the speaker the freedom to paint for me his point of view in his own color pallet. I do this with my friends and I do this with the inspiration that I so desperately want flowing in my life. I in my selfish desire to be heard inject my own colors, thus altering the outcome and in so doing rob the speaker of the satisfaction of being heard. When I suspend judgment and appreciate the speaker’s choices. I give the speaker the gift of being heard completely.  I believe the same is true of inspiration.  Am I allowing God the freedom to be heard?  I experience a flash of inspiration and instead of continuing to listen; I begin injecting my own ideas. I do wonder how often God actually feels heard, or how often inspiration is allowed to come to complete and total fruition in my life.

I know that I like to write for the very reason that I can take time to ponder my word choices. I can make sure my paragraphs are constructed to share my personal ideas and somehow I feel as if someone somewhere will actually hear what I am saying. The control of writing meets my basic human need to be heard. But can I suspend my desire to control long enough to listen? Probably with some practice, I am trying not to filter inspiration through my personal belief system, because what comes out on the other side is a splattering of inspiration and a lot of my own ideas.  I am quite purposefully trying to develop my listening skills.  As I listen, I discover that I learn a whole lot more about my world, my family, and my own thoughts than I ever dreamed possible. It is my current prayer that I will learn to listen during the red orange streaks of the  morning sky, through the bright clear blue sky of a bustling day, into the calm of the evening and even as the dark sky twinkles throughout the night. (“Sunrise in Denver” photo taken by Cyndi Windecker)

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