Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Reward You Get

Wednesday. Hump Day. The middle of the week. Many are just trying to make it 'til the weekend. Surviving, not thriving. I get it. But I don't want to be counting my days like that, so I've started considering words of wisdom on Wednesdays to give me something to focus on in a positive way. I had started this section "Midweek Minutes" back in February and had hoped to post each week, but you know how life goes. It has a tendency to go in different directions...which is a lesson in 'letting go' for a list maker and thriver-of-order like me. One of the studies I've done recently is about listening. Do I listen or talk more? Do I have an opinion formulated before the other person is done talking? Do I often interrupt? I'd rather not say. I will admit I need to work on a few areas. This week's inspiration came from a quote that got me thinking about my 'listening skills'. 

|"Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you'd have preferred to talk." -Doug Larson|

I looked up a few synonyms for 'listen': 

→ Observe, 

→ Take notice

→ Consider

→ Be on guard

→ Focus 

→ Wait

There's more involved than just hearing when it comes to listeningIt takes action, effort, discipline even. 

|"Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand." Proverbs 19:20-21|

This week's concept is not about just listening to others in conversation (family, friends, co-workers), but about hearing counsel and receiving (accepting, acknowledging, deferring to) instruction. When I'm given advice, how do I respond? Defensively? Most likely. I don't see an expiration date on this verse or an age limit. Wisdom is a journey, it seems, and a concept I wonder if I'll ever grasp. When I think of a lifetime of listening, hearing counsel, receiving instruction, I feel like it's a hard thing. "Practice makes progress", I've been told.  Wisdom is the reward if I remember to practice observing. Wisdom is the reward when I develop consideration. And wisdom comes when I'm faithful to focus and wait. 

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