Thursday, October 05, 2006

Willful Listening

"Vocation does not come from willfulness. It comes from listening."
~Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

I remember going to my advisor in college week after week, trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life. Communications, Computer Information Systems, Theatre, Toxicology/Chemistry-I was all over the place; I was working so hard to find the right major. Then my advisor, an agnostic microbiologist with an interest in Zen-Buddhism, said words that changed my life. "Ben, you know what you want to do, you're just not listening to it."

These words freed me to listen to myself. I had been encouraged by others to enter the ministry, but I was unable to listen to what was being spoken inside of me. The words spoken by my advisor gave me persmission not to "find" my vocation, but to "listen" for it.

Sometimes the hardest thing for us to do is to stop doing; simply to relax, to find a sense of calm, to sit in the lap of the Saviour. And then in that space to hear God calling us to be the people we were intended to be. When we start to listen, we will begin to recognize that God has been speaking to us all along. What is God speaking to you?
Ben Sheets, Visit Coordinator

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