Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Can You Hear Me Now?

“Can you hear me”, now is a line from a cell phone advertisement.  It is meant to convey the vastness of the company’s cell coverage.

But I want to twist that message.  Yup, consider it to be ad evolution.  I see a message inside this line and I am going to use it to my advantage.

God asks the same question of you every single day.  That’s right he is speaking, calling, and communicating every moment of every day.  Can you hear Him now?

We often can’t hear Him because we have chosen not to listen.  We ignore His language of love, and do not recognize His ways of speaking.  The less we try to listen the more we lose an ability to hear.

Even when we do try to listen, we often can’t hear.  I find this very frustrating.  Why can’t I hear Him when I want to hear Him?  Not sure I have a satisfactory answer so I keep asking the question.  I’ll write more about this mystery later.

I wish I would have known that listening is really important.  I mean, I heard you have two ears and one mouth so you should listen twice as much as you speak.  Of course, I interpreted this to suit my personal agenda.  Hey, if everybody had two ears, they would be able to listen to twice as much as I had to say.

Listening to what others are saying is vital to living in relationships with others.  Listen to hear the stories of the heart.  You have to focus and pay attention in order to really hear what someone else is saying.
We often only listen so that we can say something in return.  We treat conversations as if they are competitions, trying to tell the best story and thus be more interesting than the person we are with.  We listen only to get others to pay attention to us.

Listen to the stories others tell you.  Pay attention to them. Get yourself out of the way so you can hear their heart.

I never really developed this skill until later in life.  I wish I had exercised my listening muscle earlier.  I know what it feels like to have someone listen to my heart and hear what my soul yearns for. 

Lately God has been telling me to listen.  I don’t hear an audible “Listen”, but often when I am talking to someone I get this thought that I should really tune in to what the person is saying.  Not just the words they speak but the deeper underlying meaning in their heart.

Not sure if I am listening to this as well as I could have.  I am trying and practicing as often I am able.  I think I am getting better with age.

Can you hear me now?

Monday, March 15, 2010

The 50/17 Solution

Sometimes I wish I could go back to being 17.  It was easier then.  No heavy responsibilities of career, relationships or family.  I only needed to look out for number one.

On the other hand I like being 50.  There is much more that I am accountable for, but the rewards of enjoying the things that matter can be immensely pleasing.

So I want to write about being 17 (or so) with 50 years of experience.  Sort of a things I wish I knew when I was a teenager.  Things I wish I had known that would have altered my approach to the rest of my life.
Little or big things that would help me get through the tough times of my teenage years and beyond.

As a teenager I thought that old people, like people over 25, were out of touch with the realities of my generation and would not regard them with the respect that was due them. I believed they did not have a clue what it was like to be 17.  So I did my best to ignore them and rejected their attempted influence into my life.

Listening to people with experience is probably the first thing I wish I would have known better about.  Even though they were faced by a different set of circumstances, older people have faced the same challenges of life and have the ability of hindsight that may help a younger person should both be willing.

I hope this to be a blog where I can share some insights that could help teenagers should they chose to interact with what I write about.

Are you 17? What questions are you asking that maybe an experienced person might have some perspective and guidance into?

Are you 50? What stories and hindsight do you have that might aid young people in today’s difficult world?  And are you willing to listen to the youth of today and maybe learn more about life yourself?

This is my 50/17 solution.  Consider this a joint effort by youth and experience to help navigate life’s trials.  I invite you to join in.