Learning to listen and react to what we hear is an on-going process.
When I was in high school, I was a wonderful listener…no, I am not being vain but it was a gift. I was and still am very shy, and people used to tease me and tell me that I should talk more but I never felt that what I said was important enough to have a real conversation, so I listened and I liked listening, I felt useful and joyous when people trusted me with their problems. Well, long story sorta short, I moved from my hometown, where I had spent the first 15 years of my life and started a new school where people didn’t know me, which gave me a chance to change and maybe be more popular, so I started talking more and more and before I knew it all I wanted to do was talk about me and forget about listening to you. It worked well enough, within the first three months of being at my new school, I was nominated for the homecoming court. An honor I would not have received at “home”. This being the case I felt that maybe everyone had been right, maybe I should talk more. Which is, how I believe, I put the gift which God had given me…a gift of listening…which I have come to find out is rare. So rare, that I can’t even find mine anymore. I started talking at 16 and haven’t stopped since, which is pretty sad, if I do say so myself.
However, listening is very important…most of us (meaning me) hear what is being said, while our minds are wondering what we will be making for dinner or the errands we need to do and even though we hear we don’t listen as intently as we should. Too many times, I am afraid, someone has said something to me and I have only listened to their words not their actions or the sound of their voice, and I haven’t questioned what she really means or needs. Knowing that has brought me much deserved guilt.
God has graced each of us with amazing gifts, yet too many times we have placed our gifts in storage until we realize we need them and then when we go looking for them we can’t find them, we have forgotten where we placed them, or maybe we “gave them away” without even realizing what we were even doing. Can we find our gifts again? Yes, I truly believe we can.
After saying that, I have to say this, sometimes after we have misplaced our gifts…maybe God decides that they are no longer ours. However, let us not be discouraged for Our Lord never leaves us or forsakes us. Our gifts may change or may remain the same but God is the only one that knows what we need when, and when those gifts will touch just the right people, in just the right way.
I have felt immensely guilty about not being more grateful for the gift of listening and being so willing to give it up in the name of “popularity” and I have tried to regain that gift but have not succeeded because I have wanted to “gain” it back on my own…unfortunately that is not how it works. Maturity sometimes is a great thing.
Lord, I am here, your servant, place in me the gifts which You feel I am worthy of and those which will help me to bring Your love to Your children at Your time. I only here to serve, a humble servant.