I’m beginning to suspect that I don’t know how to exist without goal setting, multi-tasking, and accomplishment counting.
I went outside this afternoon to rest with a book. I was distracted by a thought. I looked up from my book and was instantly taken with the beauty of summer. The green grass freshly cut, flowers blooming everywhere. Birds. And it hit me. I wasn’t really resting. Moments earlier, as I settled onto the deck with my book, I had thought these thoughts, “Now I can check off reading for the day. Check off catching some sun while reading. Check off taking time to listen to God.”
So I left book, coffee, and glasses on the table and headed toward the hammock, pulling a few weeds along the way. I lay on the hammock, enveloped, face toward the sun. Yes, this is what I want to do. Just rock back and forth and pray and thank God for all the beauty. Which I do for about 60 seconds. Then I find I’m lifting my tank top just enough to get a little sun on my stomach because “I might as well work on my tan while I’m praying in the sun.” And the thought hits me again.
Yes, it’s the same thought I realized earlier. I really don’t know how to exist without goal setting, multi-tasking, etc. And to prove the point, I write this blog post in my mind while rocking on the hammock and sunning my tummy. And soon, that itch to write overcomes the itch to listen and here I am.
I want to redeem this story somehow by saying, “Well, at least I got 60 seconds of meditation in before becoming too self aware and distracted.” But that would just be checking off another thing in my mind.
Listening, real listening is just listening. It isn’t looking over the shoulder of the person talking to you. It isn’t sneaking a glance at the clock when they aren’t looking. I know it isn’t completely passive – but it isn’t changing the subject mid-sentence either. It’s … listening, it’s connecting, it’s communion. And I’m a newbie.
I’m going to keep trying this listening thing. Not because I think I’ll ever really master the skill, but because, well, I don’t really understand why. I only know that I feel like there is something very important for me to hear. And that’s pretty exciting.