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Waiting, Listening, Responding…

January 20, 2018

I was driving down the Big Thompson Canyon last Sunday when this particular formation caught my eye after I had parked. When we slow down, pause, and simply listen and watch, God calls to us and reveals beauty to us. I wonder how many times had I driven down the canyon without taking the time to see this particular formation.

Watching, waiting, listening… it doesn’t seem like there has been much time for that lately in our life. The first two weeks of 2018 have been a whirlwind. Illness, death, dying, funerals, walking with dear friends through difficult times… It has been a challenge to make the time to simply be still and know…

In Psalm 62:5 we read the following — “For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him.” For God alone, my soul waits in silence… it seems that silence is one thing that has been lacking in my own profession and spiritual life lately. Yesterday, Denise and I were able to head up into the Rocky Mountain National Park for the first time in a long time. It was a time for photography and simply breathing in the wonder and beauty of God’s creation. For God alone, my soul waits in silence… Lord how we have missed those opportunities to simply be still and know.

In addition to Psalm 62:5-12, the call of the Disciples in Mark 1:14-20 is the other reading for tomorrow. Simon and Andrew were casting their nets into the sea when Jesus met them. John and James, the sons of Zebedee, were repairing their nets when Jesus met them. They were busy doing what fishermen did back in their day. Casting and repairing nets… it could easily turn into a monotonous routine for them. Perhaps they could do it without thinking. Simply working the routine… over and over and over again. Or maybe it wasn’t that routine. After all, you had to pay attention to the nets and the repairs… you had to pay attention to the sea so that you could cast in the proper place.

Regardless, they were in the midst of doing their job. They were working as a part of their daily routine. I wonder if that daily routine included taking time to simply be still and know… to wait in silence for God. Perhaps they knew the Psalms from worship. But did they have time in their daily struggle to simply earn a living wage?

It is an interesting way to look at these two passages. How many times have I studied these passages over the past 30 plus years as a pastor, chaplain, and preacher? Perhaps it is because of where I am in my own life and ministry. How do we listen? How do we wait? If we don’t take that time… If we don’t listen… How will we hear the Lord, let alone respond to his call in our lives?

Once more the words of Psalm 62:5 ring out… “For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him.” In the words from the call of Samuel which I studied last week — Speak Lord, your servant is listening. Only by listening can we hear. Only by hearing can we respond. Are we listening?

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