bless·ing noun /ˈblesiNG/
A beneficial thing for which one is grateful
the act or words of a person who blesses
Many years ago I was sitting in an audience listening to a beautiful message given by a well-accomplished speaker. He said something that has stayed with me to this very day. In fact, his words are always at the forefront of my mind each time I stand on a platform in front of a listening crowd.
“I’m aware that the greatest gift you can ever give someone is the gift of your own time. Thank you for giving me that gift today.”
I’ve never forgotten that.
When people give you their ear, they are offering you a sliver of their life they can never recover. Time is a precious commodity whether it belongs to a crowded group in an auditorium or just one person sitting on the other side of the table at Starbucks. Any person lending you their ear is giving you the valuable gift of their time.
Think for a minute. When was the last time somebody really listened to you? Not the last time you talked but the last time you felt you were really heard. The attentive eyes of that other person made you feel valued and accepted, loved and affirmed. This is the ripple effect that listening always creates. It’s beautiful . . .and far too rare.
Listening is a discipline. It’s the act of regarding others as more important than yourself. It’s not about scouring their comments in search of your own personal interests but humbly pouring yourself out so that you may look out for the interests of others.
Most of the time we can be so focused on ourselves and preoccupied with our own feelings that every conversation can ultimately become about us and how we’re being affected. But in our fast-paced, hurried culture, it can be difficult to pay good attention to someone else for long.
It takes discipline and counter-cultural intention to listen well.
So, let’s chat about it today on the podcast and then make a resolution together. Let’s choose to be listeners and battle against the press of time and urgency and the hunger to hurry through conversations with others. Instead, let’s choose to lean in quietly, emphatically, purposefully. . .
It’s your gift. Your blessing.
Give it to whomever you can.
Our resolution this week:
I will be a woman who is quick to listen and slow to speak. I will care about the concerns of others and esteem them more highly than myself.
Questions to ponder this week…
What is the most difficult part of listening for you?
Recall the last time you genuinely felt heard. Make a list of some one-word adjectives that describe how this encounter made you feel about what you were saying? About yourself?
Who are the people in your life who would benefit the most if you took the time to listen to them?
Please enjoy the podcast below: