Reading time: two minutes.
Lately I’ve been hanging on every word of my two year old grandson. He’s starting to put
together sentences for the first time. We’re actually having conversation back and forth, after a fashion. During the Super Bowl, he said, “Fireworks!” I’ve been thinking about that for two days! Right now, every word out of his mouth is a treasure to “Papa Z”!
I didn’t hush people so I could hear the Super Bowl commercials. I hushed everyone so I could hear Blake.
I’m not quite so attentive to all of my conversations, but I sure could be. It’s pretty simple, really. Here are a couple of things I’m working on to be a better listener.
My reading from Matthew this morning was the opening parable in chapter 13, The Sower and the Seed. As you remember, the disciples asked Jesus why He spoke in parables. Peterson’s The Message says, “That’s why I tell stories: to create readiness, to nudge people toward receptive insight.” Receptive insight. That’s pretty good.
All of our conversations begin and end in the Word Himself. Created in His image, we communicate only because He is The Communicator. God is not silent. He speaks. As the Spirit speaks to me through His Word, our communication is bathed and washed in His grace. His perfect wisdom. My heart made receptive by grace. My mind and heart filled.
That’s a baptized conversation.
I’m surrounded by people of great wisdom. My wife, Carol, is one of the wisest and most insightful people I’ve ever known. She speaks truth with insight. Sometimes I listen. Often I don’t, and when I don’t, I often regret it!
The same goes for my co-workers, pastors and church workers across the synod, my neighbors, my children, little children. The list goes on and on.
I often yearn to speak with mentors of mine from former years, people who meant so much to me years ago with whom I long for one more afternoon of conversation.
That time would be better spent seeking out the fountains of wisdom God has surrounded me with right now. I’m way too quick to speak and slow to listen.
I think the fruit of the Spirit here is kindness. Jesus spoke in the most wonderful stories, but everyone I know has a story. And every story has a kernel of wisdom and insight from which I could benefit.
Have you had a good baptized conversation lately? Who opened your heart and mind to see something in a new way?
Thanks for listening!
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