Have you found yourself at a point where you lean back and realize, “I talk too much”? That’s kind of where I am in life and ministry right now. Don’t get me wrong, my mind and heart are still ablaze with thoughts, opinions, dreams and visions, but I am finding a deeper desire to simply listen.
Who am I listening to? Well, God of course. His word, his heart and the people He has put in my path to speak life into me. As a pastor, I would guess I am not a lot different from most people in many ways. We have real times of pain, discouragement, exhilaration and excitement nearly every day of our lives. You likely do too. Most of the time I am simply a happy go lucky kind of guy. I live life trusting that God knows best and I am willing to accept and live out His plan for my life.
I have recently experienced what was perhaps my lowest point in 20 years of ministry. I am still trying to get my mind around it, but I can honestly say I see the other side of the lake now. Since then I have spent a lot more time listening to God, living in His grace, mercy and provision than perhaps I ever have. I’ve probed the thoughts of great authors and pastors. I have sought the counsel of Godly men and brothers. And, I have simply lived in the shadow of His wing.
Through the process I find myself not more guarded, but more attentive. I want to hear the hearts of those God has put around me. I want to hear hopes and dreams. I want to hear passions and vision. Most of all, I want to hear how God is moving in the lives of His people. I don’t want to miss one thing He has for me or His people and I certainly don’t want to get in His way.
Tough times afford us the opportunity to grow stronger or embitter us. I choose growth. I want to be the best man of God I can possibly be. I want to be the passionate husband, father, son and pastor God created me to be. I want to know that I not only hear God’s will for my life, but that I live it out.
So, I listen more these days. How about you?