Words of Hope: Careful Listening

 
Dad and I struggled with listening. Shann would laugh at our conversations sometimes when we were both distracted. When present, Dad was an amazing listener. It is one of the big six qualities at NBC Camps—carefully listen. 

This Christmas season, I find the need to listen carefully more important than ever. My issue is that my brain speeds along faster than the pace someone is speaking to me. In this space of delay, I tend to mentally jump out of the conversation to think about something else. Often, I can get away with this behavior because I think I am fast enough to jump back in the conversation in time to stay relatively engaged. But inevitably, I stay in my internal thoughts too long and come back late. My late arrival causes me to miss the information the speaker is delivering. I am like a person trying to host two parties in two separate locations. My family gets frustrated when I do this and now, in an effort to teach me a lesson, won’t repeat what was said when I jump in late. 

Shann, on the other hand, is a remarkable listener. Instead of leaving the room mentally, he makes the room more dynamic. He not only comprehends the content but also the intent, the purpose, and the mission behind why this person is speaking. He also stays present to find ways to show care in the conversation, to add encouragement, to bring levity, or to find ways to celebrate this person. What a great example to learn from.  

Someone once said, “Listening is an art that requires attention over talent, spirit over ego, and others over self.”  

I want to show love to my family by attentively listening which means remaining present and remaining vigilant to find ways to add and give care. 

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.  – Philippians 4:9

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