Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Listening – A Lost Skill It Seems

Luke 10:39

She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.

IMG_0301One of the best pieces of advice I can give folks who are trying to build a better relationship with someone – be it their spouse or a friend – is to listen to each other more. Listening isn’t hard – yet it is a skill many do not have or do not practice.  It is often something we don’t think about until the opportunity to listen has passed (and at times never to be gotten back).

Yesterday one of my granddaughters came over to spend some time with us (her mom too and little sister). I visited a little while – and then headed back to my office to work (after all – it was a work day). It wasn’t long before my granddaughter was climbing the steps to my office – she ran in and sat on my lap and said – Pop – what are you doing? Apparently not taking the time to listen to my granddaughter while she visited! I put my work on hold and spent some more time with my granddaughter. It is something I didn’t do enough of when my girls were younger.

What is it that we think is so important – that we don’t take time to listen to someone – especially someone who might not be with us for very long – or will grow up and maybe not want to spend time with us?  Do we remember the song Cats in the Cradle by Harry Chapin?

Let’s look at today’s passage in partial context.

Luke 10:38–42 – 38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

What was so important that Martha had to be doing? Jesus would have taken just about anything – what He wanted more than a fancy meal was time with His earthly friends. He wouldn’t be with them forever – on earth that is – and Mary took the better route – sitting and listening to Jesus talk and teach.

Don’t let life pass us by because we are so busy with the things of this life that don’t amount to a hill of beans – rather than spending time with those things more needed. It is a hard lesson to learn and often we don’t learn it until AFTER the time has passed. In all of the funerals I have celebrated – I’ve never heard anyone say – I wish dad (or mom) had spent more time working. It is always – I wish they had or I had taken more time to be together – to listen to one another.

Listening is a lost skill it seems.  We should work on becoming better listeners.  Marriages would be better if we listened more. Relationships with our children/parents would improve if we listened more.  Our relationship with God would improve if we listened more and allowed God’s words to sink into our thick skulls – IMHO.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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June 9, 2015 - Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , ,

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