i am a lousy listener.
i’ve improved some in recent years, with painful attention to being present. but, my natural inclination is to not listen. not that i intentionally choose to ignore. i just get distracted with other, seemingly more attractive or more pressing or more loud magnets of my focus.
nowhere is this more evident than with god.
i want some insight. i need some wisdom. i long for direction. but my plate is so full and my pace so quick and my distractions so plentiful that i have, i’m confident, power-stepped right past insight and wisdom and direction straight from heaven thousands of times (maybe even thousands of times per day).
and right now, i have a massive, life-altering decision in my lap. it’s a choice between good and good (even great and great); but the unfortunate and necessary reality of choosing between great things is that not choosing one of the great things is a loss. which means, in the end, a choice between great and great becomes a lose/lose proposition. whichever way i go on this, i’ll lose something. i know that sounds pessimistic — i’m a natural optimist, actually; it’s just the reality i’m facing.
in order to listen, i have to shut out the distractions of:
- writing deadlines
coaching cohort launching
planning my talks for saturday’s parent summit
planning my talk for the college ministry sunday night
booking that flight
reviewing those 3 book proposals
sending out 2 invoices
and so, so many others things calling to me.
so i’m in the desert (actually, i left yesterday — wednesday — and set this post to go live today while i’m already out there). it’s a literal desert, by the way. not a figurative or metaphorical desert. i’m in the same cabin i’ve gone to many time previous, to seek god and listen and be silent. i’m fasting for two days (something i don’t practice often enough), unplugging, listening, journalling, praying, and generally shutting up.
it’s the worst time imaginable to leave my desk and go to the desert; which means it’s the most important time possible.