I've been listening a lot lately. I know all of you who know me and spend time around me must be saying, "Ha! All I hear you do is talk, talk, talk." But really, I have been working on the fine art of listening and I'd like to say that what I hear, the stories, their lives, could fill a library.
I have a bad tendency to half listen while half preparing an answer. I don't know if it's my concern that the person expects the right answer from me or my concern that I may say something wrong (happens a lot) or that I think I'm just a know-it-all and I don't have to listen. But true listening, staring into the eyes and stopping all I'm doing, takes patience and skill. I actually started a listening journal for the Month of May because I feel like if God took the time to send someone to tell me something then it is worth writing down. And, I can remember entire encounters because I have truly listened.
I recommend trying this. When someone is telling you something and you are extremely busy, or not, and really just want to give them the answer and move on, take the time to clear your mind and listen. Don't just hear what they are saying but listen to their life, to their words, to their voice. Treat no meeting as a coincidence but as a Godincidence. Something God sends through another may be the one thing He really wanted you to hear that day. Something God sends through another may be the one thing that makes a day or changes a life. Listen.