Discernment Devotionals #5

Leading in times of Change
Devotion 5
Listen, Receive and Create Space

…, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.  (Proverbs 2: 1-5)

Book of Order (W-2.1000)
Prayer is a conscious opening of the self to God, who initiates communion and communication with us. Prayer is receiving and responding, speaking and listening, waiting and acting in the presence of God. In prayer we respond to God in adoration, in thanksgiving, in confession, in supplication, in intercession, and in self-dedication.
Poet Judy Brown writes
What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.

Serving people and organizations through change is full of challenge and reward. Listening, intentionally paying attention, sincerely offering an ear and the space for you to speak, creates space between the logs, breathing space so that your gifts can “show up”, burn, crackle and fuel how you live, breathe, serve and ultimately inspire positive change in your communities.

Creating space to listen and ask good questions leads to all kinds of possibilities. It engages and invites ALL of us into the conversation. It sounds simple yet I have discovered there must be intentional “receiving and responding, speaking and listening, waiting and acting in the presence of God”. Wind, oxygen and space for a fire to burn is not neat and tidy, it can be messy. Yet, building a good fire, says Judy Brown requires attention  “to the spaces in between, as much as to the wood.”

Meditation Questions:

Prayer can allow us the space we need to breathe, pause, listen, reflect and wait in silence. When or how do you allow prayer to be your “space in between the logs”?
How do you make sure there is space, so the flame that called you to this work can burn, continue to be healthy, grow and engage those around you?