I went to church today. A first in a long time. Maybe it was San Diego that I last went? (And that church was a treat in La Jolla, California. I don't know how quakers got that real estate, but let me tell you, THAT was a lovely place to sit and wait upon God.)
I went today because I am really trying to listen better. I am easily distracted, unfocused, pushing to the next thing I need to do or say. Even this morning, with 5 minutes left before I needed to leave, I dove into cookbooks in the pantry looking for a dinner recipe, rather than spending the last moments with the people in my family. So I felt it was time to step back and go hard core, go to my unprogrammed church to sit in silence for an hour and wait. See what there was to hear. (ha ha, my little quaker joke.)
[here's where you, yourself, would sit in silence for say, an hour or so...I'll wait.]
Than towards the end of that very quiet hour where tiny sounds and smells are magnified and time can be measured by a shift in the shadows, a man spoke about listening. (which was a little different, usually the phrase about this type of worship is about "waiting.") But he talked about listening to God and listening to people and listening to God through people. (Which is exactly why I was there! cue the angels!) And one phrase is ringing through my head from his spiel: Tell not what to do, but empower how to do. It resonates so well because that is exactly what I try to do as a parent. And what the kid's school strives to do in the teaching of them. I had never thought of that as a means to listen better to friends (the people in my life, not necessarily the religious group.)
So here I go.
(I will save my complaints about the weather (90 to 35 in a day!!) for another day, because that is totally lacking in the empowering department.)