I am reading “Benedict’s Way: an ancient monk’s insights for a balanced life” by Lonni Collins Pratt and Father Daniel Homan, OSB. The first way is the way of listening. Apparently this a rather important way because it bookends all the other ways.
As I have been practicing praying the hours (and especially as I practice centering prayer) I am discovering that I am far better at being still than I am listening. I have yet to come to the place where I can be still on the inside and listen intently for God’s voice. I need, in the words of that beautiful hymn, for God to “bind my wondering heart to Thee.”
There have been times when I have listened and heard God’s voice. Recently (and very much a catalyst in this journey I am now on) I heard God’s voice speak to me saying, “You are running around trying to fix everything when I have a better way.” A better way. Perhaps the way of listening. Rather than pressing on and fixing everything as I am accustomed to doing I retreated into silence instead, listening for God’s voice.
Listening is difficult for me. I want to be on the go and be about doing. Listening requires being, not doing. I suppose this is one reason I find it difficult to pray as I drive. How can I pay attention to God when there are so many distractions? I am (slowly) learning to pause during my day and fixing my thoughts on Jesus (Hebrews 3, NIV) which is helping me to listen.
Where do I need to hear God speak now? I suppose I need him to continue speaking into my brokenness so that healing can keep taking place. I need him to speak into my ministry. I need him to speak into whatever he needs to speak into. “O God, you have searched me and you know me.” (Psalm 139:1) Since you know me Lord, you alone know where I need to hear your voice.