why it pays to listen carefully #thedailyhaiku 6

 

In any given day we are subject to a whole host of voices and the challenge remains: just who or what are we listening to? What is having the biggest influence on our way of thinking? Whose words are we paying attention to?

It pays to listen with discernment, due care and attention. Because what we listen to and take in ends up feeding our soul for good or ill. Maybe it’s our own sharp stabs of negativity that are shaping us, or is it the vital life and health-giving thoughts that we find in God’s Word?

Life is full of voices but the one we need to listen to most is the Voice of God as spoken in His written word and made manifest in Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. Our listening choices have eternal consequences for us.

I’ve struggled with my own inner critical voice and negative thoughts for years. It’s a constant battle to ignore them, requiring inner vigilance and prayer, and to replace the flawed and faulty thinking with what God’s word says about me. Perseverance and wisdom is needed to help us discern our own jaundiced thinking and the enemy’s taunts from God’s voice speaking to us.

listen carefully

life’s full of voices

choices have consequences

listen carefully

©joylenton

Reaching out in faith

reaching out FMF PJ file image

Hearts, hands and voices reach out to God.

There’s a yearning, a desperate need to be heard.

To have our needs fulfilled.

And so often it feels like we come up empty.

Prayers appear to go unanswered.

Hopes are dashed.

We droop with disappointment and discouragement.

But could it be that we fail to receive because we fail to fully believe He will answer?

Missed careful study of His word to see what He has already said about this issue.

Been impatient, failed to linger in His Presence long enough to hear a response.

Or we’ve already worked out just how the answer will look, and This. Isn’t. It.

And in our haste to have answers, we can so easily forget that God often uses our confusion and pain to rouse us into deeper dependence on Him.

God has already spoken fully through Jesus, the living Word of God Incarnate.

He speaks still in hearts receptive to His voice and surrendered to His will and ways.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” ~ Isaiah 55:9

In pondering this, here are my best ‘five-minute-friday’ thoughts on ‘Reach’:

‘Reaching out’

Sometimes answers to prayer feel out of reach

no matter what we say, think, pray or preach

It feels like something could be missing

or maybe we’re not too good at listening

Failing to heed Your written word

or receive its wisdom seen and heard

Yet, there are many ways in which You reach out

with love and goodness in a whisper, not a shout,

Soft breaths fall as dew in the morning air

as manna drops to feed us, and to share

We are never left empty or alone

because in every heart You make a home

And Your arms were impaled, pierced to a tree

to reach out to all suffering humanity

Revealing Your forgiveness, grace and love

as they poured like wine from heaven above

So as we sit and ponder, rush and hurry,

there is really no need for us to worry

You hear and answer every prayer

with Wait, Yes, No, I am here

©JoyLenton2014

reaching out FMF poem pin file image

Linking here with Kate for #FMF (as we write freely for five minutes flat, with the joy of abandoning perfection) about ‘Reach’, and with Jennifer as we reach out to encourage one another and #tellhisstory in the process. You are warmly invited and encouraged to join in.

The art of listening

Listening closely to how God is operating in our lives and the world around us has the potential to renew our minds, increase our joy, and help us to maintain an attitude of gratitude.

All this takes place as we record what we see, sense and hear through eyes, heart and spirit.

But in a world of chaos and noise we can struggle to hear Him.

“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world” ~ C.S Lewis

As I attempt to put into operation my #oneword365 of ‘listen’, I know it will be a test and a challenge.

What helps you to listen to God’s voice? 

Please share in the comments below.

‘The art of listening’

Lord,

Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of words

where voices everywhere are clamouring to be heard

above all that’s really necessary as a life-belt for my soul.

And all it craves is to avoid sinking into despair and doubt

while being tossed about on waves of opinion and uncertainty.

For I’m slowly discovering that the art of listening

is a spiritual discipline akin to any other, requiring

great patience and humility, both of which

I sorely lack in my heart’s vocabulary.

So I find I am being thrown hard

on penitential knees in an effort

to find ways to serve and please You.

May I seek Your Presence, find wisdom and discern

as I listen, lean and learn to pay attention and to heed

the essence of all You are saying 

in a myriad of ways to me here ~ today.

And may I follow willingly, instead of going

mindlessly about my own way

©JoyLenton2014

 

Looking back and moving forward

As someone in the Autumn of her life, there is quite a bit for me to look back and reflect on.

Time is a great healer, or so the saying goes.

Though regrets can be hard to live with.

Wisdom seems to be an advantage of growing older – some compensation perhaps for the gradual loss of other functions or faculties?

Or is it just seeing through the lens of history and experience that gives us a fresh perspective which seems wise?

Maybe it’s seeing with God’s eyes as He opens our vision to His perspective rather than our own.

Hindsight is a great teacher.

Here are a couple of mini Tuesday tidbits to share with you on this subject:

Wishing

I wish I knew then

what I know now

I could have been a better friend

wife and mother somehow

discerning and wise

knowing bad from good

at least in my own eyes

©JoyLenton2013

Hindsight

Hindsight poem pin for Poetry Joy

Hindsight is invaluable

for the insight it imparts

though a residue of regret

may linger in our hearts

maybe I can learn to start

something new today

in accepting it wisdom

without regrets holding sway

©JoyLenton2013

Day 6 of 31 days  writing #poetryforthesoul on love, loss, life and faith