“The first duty of love is to listen.” (Paul Tillich)
I heard those words spoken during the message at church yesterday and they haven’t gone away.
What does that show about my love?
Has there been time to listen lately? It doesn’t seem like it. There’s only two weeks left until school begins. Even though I enjoy summer and more free time without an agenda, the end of the break can drag on. I think most of that is because I’m more disciplined when it comes to not only a routine, but also for my quite time during the school year…and I need it.
Confession: In the summer I struggle with being disciplined to wake up early enough to really pray and listen. I try to pray while I walk the dog in the morning but my mind drifts off to so many different random thoughts and it frustrates me.
Many thoughts rush through the crowded mind filled with random thoughts. Worries and busyness smother the ideas, the dream, the calling.
But it’s still my responsibility to make space in my day to spend time with God. Be disciplined to make space.
We need our space. (I almost bought this hat at Kennedy Space Center when we were there in January and I wish I had now!)
We need to make space in our daily lives to listen to our hearts and to God.
“The first duty of love is to listen.”
To listen to our children tell us stories, even though they are detailed information about the game just played. To listen to how your spouse’s day was. Make the time to listen to a friend who needs to “spill it all out”…the struggles being faced and not just chitchat about the great bargains found at the store or your calendar for the rest of the year. Most essential is to listen to God because if we didn’t do that first, all those other things would be harder to do.
Lately I’ve been hearing the same words but I then brush them off. I don’t stop to simply listen. I haven’t taken the words and made them into a question back to God. OK, so here it goes….Why do those thoughts keep coming to my mind? Is this something You’re wanting me to do? How will I have the time?
Then God says “When and how will you make the time?”
And that’s where I need to listen to my heart. And the heart is where love is stored. It’s the part of yourself that keeps you living, gives you momentum, gives you the desire to dream, gives you opportunities to listen, gives you ample amounts of ways to offer that love back to God and gives you the hands and the feet to give that love to others.
Through love, we weren’t designed to just hear. God wants us to listen and then follow.
Make that space. Make that space. And listen as an offering to God.
Joys counted last week
#1603 buying a dozen of Paul’s Donuts for some teenage staff at drama camp
#1604 daughter’s bravery to be in a play
#1605 bright pink crepe myrtle right outside our window
#1606 spontaneous lunch date
#1607 air condition
#1608 cold bottled water on a hot day…and in a hot theater.
#1609 Frosties with family
#1610 “The first duty of love is to listen” Paul Tillich
#1611 We don’t have to settle for just chitchat with God
#1612 God gives us friends so we can “spill it all out”.
#1613 “God’s in charge, not you – the less you speak, the better.” Ecclesiastes 5:3 (MSG)
#1614 son hitting some golf balls with pretty good form!
#1615 son teaching his friend golf techniques his grandfather taught him