“If you’re trying to find out what’s coming next, turn off everything you own that has an OFF switch and listen.”
Listening. That’s what I’m doing this week. For what, I’m not sure. But I do know that right now my life is loud. REALLY, REALLY, REALLY LOUD. So loud it hurts. And I’m terrible at having the discipline to be silent or still.
So here I am, in San Louis Obispo, CA, turning all the noise off. (Yes, California is a long way to go to listen, but like they say, extreme circumstances call for extreme measures…I’m not good at colloquial phrases, is that even a saying?)
In her book, What Now?, (which is the modified transcript of her speech to the Sarah Lawrence graduates of 2006), Ann Patchett says, “The secret is to keep adding voices, adding ideas, and moving things around as you put together your life. If you’re lucky, putting together your life is a process that will last through every single day you’re alive.”
That’s living to become – a kind of becoming that never arrives, never finishes. It’s the kind of becoming that I want my life to exude. A life of expansion and curiosity and openness. Of a willingness and courage to accept not what I wanted, but what is. A constant progressing of my story, with a hopeful eagerness for what’s next.
And I think we only really get there by listening.
Jesus says it this way: “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.” -Matthew 6:6 (The Message)
It’s time for me (and maybe for you?) to turn some stuff off, quiet down, and give myself the space (such a good word!) to listen and sense God’s grace. Amen? Amen!