Pastors' Weekly Message: From Pastor Pat

Webster defines the word listen as “paying attention or being alert to catch an expected sound.” How much of our time is vested in hearing but not listening? You may think the two actions are identical. I would offer that they are not. Hearing is the reverberation of sound upon our eardrums. Hearing is the first step toward listening. Listening is the interpretation and translation of what has been heard. To listen requires the intentional commitment of paying attention to the sound, translating the sound for our understanding, and then interpreting what the sound is requiring. 

I would imagine that in an atmosphere filled with the sounds of many voices all demanding equal attention, it is difficult to determine what should be listened to. Sometimes, when what we’ve heard strikes us a certain way, we resist the invitation to sit with that response, to discern why we feel that way; we resist the opportunity to keep listening.

In this season of introspection you are invited to focus on listening, in some specific ways.

Please listen for the voice of God, which may require you to silence everything around you (literally or mindfully) and enter into the sacred practice of listening. 

Listen to the voices that fill your day and notice your response to those voices. What happens within you when you hear the voices of: co-workers, family members, neighbors, those you disagree with, God?

No matter how you respond to what you have listened to, go deeper by asking yourself, why did I feel that way? And if you stopped listening, what was it that I heard that made me stop listening? And why am I afraid to hear it?

Again and again God speaks through many voices; may we be willing to hear what God is saying.

-- Pastor Pat