Just a few days ago I joined the Five Minute Friday community and wrote about the word “Break”. You can read that post here.

In the process, I am learning that five minutes is not enough to explore the word “break” and God’s ideas for what this should look like for me. There continues to be this sense of digging deeper and understanding that taking a break and waiting for next steps is not really about me, but all about Him.

A question surfaces in my mind and over and over it begs to be answered – Are you listening? I will admit that I know I did not hear this question the first time and probably not the second or third either. My mind works overtime even during a time of rest to the point that taking a break looks good on the outside, but there is so much work for me to do on the inside. That description right there should be my wake up call to learn how to rest better.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes listen as:

1: to pay attention to sound <listen to music>
2: to hear something with thoughtful attention : give consideration <listen to a plea>
3: to be alert to catch an expected sound <listen for his step>

I am especially drawn to the 2nd definition~to hear something with thoughtful attention. The key words here are “thoughtful attention”.

[Tweet “Listening is an intentional act of being present for each moment.”]

listening w:words

Listening is an intentional act of being present for each moment. It is a leaning into the person speaking and an awareness with all your senses. It is an act of love and caring that what the other person is saying is valuable and has merit.

If listening is a whole body experience, do we do the same when we are quiet and still for God? Is our mind completely focused in that moment that we are reading His Word, listening to worship music or reading a devotion? Do we give God the same attention that we give other things in our lives?

I ask these questions to help myself as much as others. To be fully present in each moment is not easy to do in our world of distractions. What I learned though is sometimes moments of presence are quick, almost fleeting, that you must keep your eyes open for so they don’t pass you by.

My unexpected “break” moments that caused me to breathe in deeply last week were:

~ a student’s wink and smile from across the room

~ day break glowing with the slow motion brightening of the sky

~ a student running up to me and wrapping me in an unexpected bear hug

~ a phone call from my firstborn son just to catch up

~ coffee and conversation with a good friend to end the week and begin Spring Break

Each gift allowed me to break from normal and thank God for the chance to breathe Him in and give thanks. I am still a work in progress and listening will be an area I will always need work on, but God says lean in, let go and let me!

I am praying for all this week that as we make our way to the cross, we listen to the footsteps of Jesus walking along side us in His final walk to the sacrifice of His life for our redemption.



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