June 19, 2006

Trying to Listen Rather than "Finish"

Friends of ours are in the process of adopting a child (or children) from Africa. The dossier's completed, they've been fingerprinted, had their house visit--now they're waiting. The hope is that they might travel to Africa yet this summer. While they wait, one spouse is planning: books on Africa purchased from Amazon, running through possible names to whittle down the ultimate list, trying to calculate for what might be and how to respond to it. Spouse #2 is trying to live in the moment, not setting up expectations that could be disappointed. Focus on the 2-yr-old in front of us and let God take care of however many family members we'll be adding.

I myself am a planner. If Trent dies next week, how will I feel? What would I do? How would I help Nathan know who his dad was? (Sorry for such a downer example; it was the first that came to mind!). I'm usually planning for things I can't control and that involve lots of potential emotion.

Today I had a mental slap upside the head about this mix of plan vs. live in the moment. Why don't I live in the moments of my planning? I often shift into task mode; complete this task to move on to the next one, etc. I live when the 'to do' list items are crossed off... I realized today during my devotions that life should be more about listening, not finishing. When I do chores around the house (doing laundry, folding clothes, loading the dishwasher), am I trying to listen, to see God in whatever it is I'm doing? More often than not, I'm more likely to be pushing through this task to get it finished. I operate as if I only hear God in certain situations. Who am I to say he doesn't communicate to me while I'm scrubbing out the shower? Just because I haven't heard him doesn't mean he isn't there; it's more likely that I'm not listening.

Time with Nathan makes it easy for me to listen for God - Nathan's vocabulary is pretty limited. His smile sure makes up for a lot of it, though!

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