While I would like to thank I am a good listener, I am mindful that at times I am not as good a listener as I would like to be. I am sure that is pretty sure for most people. How often do we feel as if we are giving people our undivided attention? How often when we are talking are we thinking about what we are going to say in response to what the other person is saying, instead of just listening?
I can’t speak for anyone else, but my greatest fear has been that if I just sat and listened and gave another person my undivided attention that I would not know what to say. Read More
I was first exposed to the writings of a woman who goes by the name of Starhawk when I began reading about ecofeminism. Her writings have always intrigued me because they challenged me to pay attention to the physical landscape that surrounds me in new ways. In one of her books, which I read almost 10 years ago, she outlined nine ways of observing the spiritual in the physical. My meditations this week, have led me back to this book and the lessons it taught me about paying attention. So I thought I would share a few excerpts from her book this week. Read More
Anna Quindlen in her book, A Short Guide to a Happy Life, wrote, “He stared out at the ocean and said, "Look at the view, young lady. Look at the view."
And every day, in some little way, I try to do what he said. I try to look at the view. That's all. Words of wisdom from a man with not a dime in his pocket, no place to go, nowhere to be. Look at the view. When I do what he said, I am never disappointed.”
How often do we take the time in our lives to look at the view? How often do we take the time to really see what is right in front of us. I know I am so often guilty in my own life of not seeing the view. Sometimes I focus on all the things that I have yet to accomplish today that I forget to take the time to look at the view. I have been trying this month to take my own challenge to notice something new every day. Read More
When I was pastoring, one of the least listened to parts of the service was the announcements. One of the young girls in the congregation came to talk to me about how disrespectful the adults were being. I asked her if she had any ideas on how to get the adults to pay attention and she said yes. The next Sunday, this powerful 7 year old got up in front of the congregation and loudly proclaimed, “It’s pay attention time!” The adults immediately paid attention and then she explained that announcements were not a time to talk to their neighbors, but a time to pay attention to the announcements. It has been years since she taught this lesson and took over that part of worship, but I still remember her telling everyone, “it’s pay attention time!” Read More
When I was pastoring, I always found it difficult to get people to pay attention to the announcements. I think most pastors would tend to agree with me. One day, when I was trying to read the announcements, one of the young visitors to our church stood up and told the adults it was pay attention time. Two things about that morning have stayed with me. One was the effect of those words on the congregation that morning; people actually focused their attention on the announcements that day. The other was the power of that young woman who reminded us all that we have to pay attention to everything, including the announcements.
The last several months, I have remembered how important it to pay attention to everything in my life. By paying attention to my feelings, especially my reactions, I can see where I have grown and where I still need to evolve spiritually. Read More