April 26, 2011

That’s Not Why Ships Were Built

My toes tip on pins and needles around our accountants as it is. Fresh in from plowing the audit fields, glasses of sweet tea cast amber light around our lunch table.

His lips move, but words don’t compute. I hear every other syllable but don’t listen. I can’t let go of deferred revenues, accruals, and doubts I chopped my work’s finances to bits. I’m not listening to him, but the numbers punching within my brain. I remedy with a polite laugh. Nod of head. Move on.

But no. He’s trained to catch what’s missing; he’s an accountant after all. The spotlight glares hotly. “You don’t know what I said, do you?”

“Not a clue,” hot cheeks tattle. I’m such a chump. Graciously he repeats, reassures me all is well with the audit. I let go of the spreadsheets and receipts, and listen.

Another inquisitive gentleman seeks to know if I’m listening to Him. Infinitely more vital are His voice and words. They’re the melodies to which life’s dance is set. Kindling feeding marrow’s fire. Honey sweetening soul’s hive.

We miss a beat when we’re not fully engaged listening. Grow cold. Sour.

Jesus was “all ear” to the Father. This is true prayer: being all ear for God.
~Henri Nouwen

As each New Year dawns, I am “all ear” for His treasure map. I’m without a clue unless He speaks… unless I listen. What is Your will for me this year Lord?

He faithfully sets my course. Occasionally with a long manual, but mostly with a sentence or two. This year’s directions: “Don’t wait.” To leave the port for the spot X marks, I must untether from the dock of doubt, the past, distractions. Briefly I linger as the breeze blows my way: I want change, but what if I fail, am shamed for trying, miss the way things use to be? Yet instinctively I refute.

A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not why ships were built.

The winds change, carrying this message: things will never change if you always do them the same way. Let go and listen. And so, with “all ear” my whole being bends into His voice. Moment by moment, wave by wave, His words navigate.

Half ears beget half lived lives. I want to be “all ear” and fully live. How about you? God’s is the voice that gives hopeful futures, right instruction, wise counsel, lovely delights. His is the voice that sets free.

Old becomes new. Death becomes life. Lost is found at the sound of His voice. He’s inviting you into a grand adventure. Won’t you let go and set sail, listening to His directions?

Going Deeper:
Are there things you instinctively know need to be let go so you can listen? What practical steps can you take to let go?

What have you heard the Lord say recently? Do you feel you’ve listened to His whole message or only heard every other syllable?

Jesus takes leave to quiet places, void of people and things, in Luke 15 to pray. Can we do the same? In a closet, bathroom, friend’s home, park, church sanctuary?

Thank you for biding time with me as seasons & our lives change through His words and Word! If this is your first time joining us, we’re in the midst of Jumping off the Negative Train of Thought. Welcome!

xoxo, Sam

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  1. Girl, seriously!! You should write a poetry book. Because that's how your words touch my heart and spirit. Like poetry. It whispers and cascades over rocks with gentle harmony. I LOVE IT!

    For me, especially right now, taking the time away from 'stuff' and quieting everything around me to sit and write what God is pouring through my heart.

  2. Heather Bleier says:

    My biggest thing is discerning whether the voice I hear is my own or His. It can get confusing and I think it keeps me from moving forward in the direction He wants me to go. Lots of prayer and searching the scripture! God is never upset when we ask Him to confirm His instructions to us Thank God, He's so patient, ROFL!

  3. Fields of gold says:

    Danielle, I'm totally tucking your kindest words into a pocket in my heart. Pulled out, they will shine bright when dark doubts cast shadows. Thank you!!

    Finding that time is difficult. Kelly Langston exhorted the other day: time to write Sam, to spend time in His presence… 5 a.m., midnight… make time.

    Hoping, praying for time niches to be creatively carved out for you too sweet friend!

  4. Fields of gold says:

    Standing in line next to you friend! Gleaning His honey-sweet words from the other suckles of the world takes time and patience. Praying He bends His ear and reassures your soul that, yes, indeed…. He speaks to His daughter and she hears Him well.

    Thankful for His patience!! 🙂

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