"It's only through listening that you learn
and I never want to stop learning"
Last week I had one of my eyes 'fixed'...very interesting procedure. A learning experience and I did lots of listening...to instructions! I was really all ears and eager to learn. Now, thanks to a great eye surgeon, I have good eyesight to go with my sharp hearing...great combo...if and when they're used wisely. My vision and hearing needs constant attention and fine tuning.
Michael has hearing problems so he is blessed with excellent hearing aids; to make life more interesting, his aids sing a lot...sort of harmonizing along w/everything they come near! Main point is...he can hear and he listens well. That's probably somewhat of a problem since he has a 'chatty' wife...that would be me of course.
He lost his hearing when in the Korean conflict in 'his' tank, Shamrock. The military didn't take steps to protect him from the noise of the tank guns like they do now. We're thankful for his 'aids' though...very thankful. He practices listening...nice!
He was out of the country much of our marriage...which meant the four boys and I practiced togetherness. My listening really had to work overtime...difficult being the mom and dad package. They needed someone reliable, lovable and that was me. I relied on them in return.
We made tapes and sent them to M when he was in Viet Nam and Ethiopia. That was 'BC'...before computers and cells. He would try to return the favor and believe me...we were all ears listening to his loving voice...I shed so many tears then.
He was away when the boys were in high school and college...more listening w/much late night listening. They would come in my room, "Mom, are you asleep?"..."Mmm, no". "Listen to this"...and I listened, trying my best not to doze off. They needed that talking/listening special time...and it did our hearts good.
My mother lived w/us for several of those years; we added a big apartment to our house for her...good arrangement. Once while I was away our youngest went into her room and asked her to wake up...which she did. He was standing there w/part of her car's bumper in his hands. She said, "Oh, don't worry about whatever happened, we'll talk in the morning". All ended well. Important that they shared and listened the next morning!
It's not always easy to listen...and especially when it's something we'd rather not hear...or someone that we're not too fond of. Listening is an art...listening, hearing is a finer art. You can pretend to listen and not hear a word. I multitask and lots of times when M is reading to me, I'm fingering the keyboard and he'll come out w/some silly sentence to see if he can catch me not hearing him...sometimes I fail his test...aargh. I'm trying very, very hard to give him my total attention...trying, trying!
Okay, so people...we are a busy society...into a gazillion things w/not much time to spare w/frivolities...like listening...paying attention to those who need the attention. Easy to sort of 'make or break' someone or have someone break you...think about it.
Doesn't matter if it's someone perhaps you're not really crazy to talk to...not a close friend...it doesn't matter. I am dedicated to giving 100% to those I come in contact with. It's important.
Now, perhaps someone you're talking to glances all around but doesn't look at you (by the way it isn't a gender thing...males and females can excel at it)...ever happen to you? Yep, thought so. It makes me uncomfortable...and I wish I hadn't 'bothered' them.
Okay, since I'm a 'see thru' person...I do God that way...oh wow, do I ever. I chatter at Him when I'm not too tired or have too many other important things on my mind. How bad is that? Worse than anything. I'm working on that...and it's a chore. My mind goes like a rocket and God gets left out of the orbit. I am ashamed of how I treat Him; He's so patient, loving and kind to me...He's always ready to listen 24/7 and me??? I am so sorry Father...so very sorry. I'm practicing the fine art of listening to Him...along with conscientious prayer.
I read His inspired word and learn but my most productive learning comes from listening to His words...living water and bread of life...I never want to stop learning...after all I believe what I tried teaching my Chinese students...'when you're through learning, you're through'.
From my heart...
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- Mar 2011