Listening: When You’re Not Brave

Are you doing anything that’s difficult for you right now? You know it’s what you’re supposed to be doing, but for some reason it’s just not working.

That’s where I am.

I accepted the challenge to write one blogpost every day about one topic. Doesn’t seem that difficult, does it?

For the first four days, I went into the office, shut the door and wrote.  I focused—nothing short of a miracle for me—for hours and hours on writing.

I lost track of time. I didn’t even get hungry. I worked tirelessly to offer something worth your while. I gutted out a handful of stories about listening. Yet, I noticed something disconcerting—I was listening less.

I was still spending time in the morning with God’s word open on my lap, but part of my mind was already fishing for an opening line for the day’s post. I squeezed in doing the laundry, but my man didn’t have my undivided attention when he was home.

I needed to get outside, to go for a walk and give God wide open space to speak into my life.

As I walked God brought to mind a blogpost that I’d read a few nights before: What Would You Write about if You Had No Fear? by Maria Keckler.  It started like this:

Before you read on, grab two pieces of paper  – paper napkins, sticky notes — anything. Now answer two questions:

1. What would you write about if you had no fear?

2. What are you afraid of?

The answers came right out as I walked with God.

Answers to Maria's questions

1. If I had no fear, I’d write about the incredible things God shows me.
2. I’m afraid I won’t do them justice. Afraid that they won’t sound as incredible
to you as they did when God showed them to me.

I breathed them out to God and moved on, enjoying the the brisk evening air.

Not far from home, something made me stop and chuckle. It was Dorie’s rat. For Halloween, she puts a wooden cut-out of a rat up on their porch roof. She has a spotlight shining on it and it casts a huge rat shadow up across the side of their house.

I thought, God, that’s what I’m doing with that fear. I’m shining the light of my attention on it. The more I focus on it, the more that little fear grows.

I hear you, Lord. When I fix my gaze on the fear, it looks bigger and more powerful than I am.
When fix my gaze on You, I see You do not change like shifting shadows. You are my strength and in You I am a conqueror.

Tomorrow I will write about the incredible things God shows me. See you then.

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.
You give me Your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me;
You stoop down and make me great.”
—Psalm 18:32, 35 NIV


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