“Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” – James 1:19
In addition to setting some specific goals each year, for the past couple years I have also chosen a theme/word for the year. Last year my word was “share,” and this year my word is “listen.” I hate to admit it, but the truth is I’m a pretty bad listener. So there is a very literal aspect to my theme word because I do want to become a “better” listener this year. (Side note: I hate all the “betters” that New Year’s resolutions often entail because they are so difficult to measurably achieve). Still, I think of my theme words more broadly. Listening is an integral part of loving and empathizing with others. Listening involves humbly receiving criticism. Listening is inherently other-focused, and I think that’s the hardest part for me because I’m so self-focused. Additionally, I want to listen to God. I believe the primary communication tool God uses is His Word, the Bible. And similar to how I don’t want distraction to detract from my listening in conversations with others, I don’t want distraction to infiltrate my time in the Word.
I want to hear the pins drop in Scripture, and I welcome the truth to change me.
So 2017, I’m pleased to meet you. And I’m excited to hear what you’ll teach me.
My New Year’s Prayer
I know You are good.
I see You are good.
I hear “You are good.”
I feel You are good.
I sing “You are good.”
Quiet my heart with Your grace
Still my mind with Your peace
Close my lips with Your power
that I might listen
that all the praise that flows from my mouth reflect the truth of knowing You
Teach me to love with my ears first
Teach me humility from my ears,
receptive to correction,
open to wisdom
And Lord, I pray that the more I listen to You
the more I read Your Truth
the more I seek You
that my ears will grow accustomed to the sound
ringing more and more beautifully
that I resemble You more,
You who always hears my prayers
Lord, make my words a product of listening
make my thoughts entirely unoriginal and fully originating in You
This year I begin with open ears, an open heart, and an open Book.