We live in a Noisy World. Most people don't really listen to each other instead they are listening to some electrical paraphernalia around their body, or in the room. I can be just as plugged in as the next person. I have to force myself to LISTEN!
As a teacher, I often touch my ears and at the same time I say to my students, "If you can hear me, put your hands on your head." I whisper this instruction. Some students are already in tune to my voice because they catch the action of my hands going to my ears. Then, I will give another instruction that requires an act of doing. It takes a few minutes, but usually the whole class is listening; we can move on to class instructions. This actually works for any age group. Duh! Even Adults!
The world crashes into our ears every day, all day long.
As a young girl I remember radios, and record players. We got our first TV when I was around 4 years old. I also remember our piano being practiced by one of my siblings or myself. And then there were band years, and choir years. But, there was not constant sound. And the time was broken up. We would have large spaces of time in quiet. I remember quiet days and nights.
I remember reading books. I remember locking myself in my bedroom to read on Saturdays. I remember reading and talking about what I had read with my family over dinner. But, we all shared about our days at the dinner table. We talked and we listened. We took turns. Talking and listening. We communicated. We could have done a better job of this. We were in the 60's and 70's so we kept things on the surface. It was safer to never go too deep. But, for what we knew a family was supposed to be, we did our best.
During the late 80's, I wasn't as successful with this sitting at a dinner table and communicating while I was raising my own children. More noise had come into the world. Radios, computers, and the inability to round them all to the table at one time. Yes, early 80's we had meal times nightly. But then middle school hit. After about 7th grade, they had after school commitments, sports activities, band, church and friendships causing the nightly mealtime somehow dwindle away.
We were a bit odd because we didn't have a TV. Not because we didn't want one. It was simply no matter what house we lived in, they always broke down, or blew up, or didn't work to begin with. Not kidding! So finally, we decided after the fifth one we just weren't meant to have TV. After the first 8 weeks of not having one, we always found it more gratifying than when we did. Someone would find out we didn't have one and let us have one of their many. But, as I said, they never lasted. Two of my grown children still run their families pretty much TV free.
After my kids dad and I divorced, we as a family unit were falling apart at the seams. I sought counseling. One of the benefits was learning a bit about communication. My kids and I implemented a powerful tool into our home and life. It helped us cope. When my kids and I learned how to actually use this tool it changed not only our lives then, but continues to be a part of my life today.
This tool is something I think people might talk about, but few really implement. We did. It changed our relationship with each other.
What was the tool? It is called Family Meetings.
In these family meetings we learned how to listen to each other.
Anyone of our family members could call a family meeting at any time. We all made it a priority to be there. There was me, a frazzled single working mom. There were three siblings. We made it work.
We learned to not play the blame game.
We remembered that nobody can MAKE you do anything. So, blaming is simply a way of trying to get out of taking responsibility for your own actions.
Listening skills are becoming a lost art. I read an article on Listening Skills recently in Forbes magazine, yes, the Forbes Magazine is interested in Listening Skills. It relayed how important listening skills are to every facet of our lives. When we don't have them, we lose money, time, energy. We can lose jobs, respect, and most importantly relationships when we don't have this important skill set. (see the link to the article below)
But, unfortunately, our world gives less and less opportunity for listening.
Something is moving constantly, making noise, or infiltrating our brains.
This noise is what I used to call, "Unnecessary Noises." As a child my youngest son was always making unnecessary noises. I used to kid him when he was about seven years old. I told him that I expected him to become a famous Jazz musician because of all those 'Unnecessary Noises'. I should get something for being stuck in a mini-van with three children, and a dog traveling halfway across the USA and listening to all of those noises. Hours I am telling you ⏤ hours on end. Some of you know what I am talking about! You too are smiling and shaking your heads - trying hard not to pull out all your hair! I really thought he would become that famous trombone jazz player...
But, he didn't.
He became a chaplain instead. He's went from making noises to learning the value of how to listen. And he listens a lot. He's good at it.
When you think about your relationship with God, do you think about listening?
21. Then Jesus asked them, "Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed? Of course not! A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light will shine.
22. For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light.
23. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand."
24. Then he added, "Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given ⏤ and you will receive even more.
25. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them."
Mark 4:21-25 NLT
I find that my listening skills are needed in my spiritual walk. Jesus makes it pretty clear.
I hope I can learn to listen better every day.
Thank you for being here
Think about these wonderful truths this week.
See you here next week at some time on Monday. Love having you here.
And yes, our membership is a place where we practice LISTENING to God. Come and join us.
Because He is the I AM, i am
robyn rochelle cox
Robyn & Biff
Come and join our membership. We are on a journey.
You can read the Forbes Magazine article here: 10 Steps to Effective Listening Skills
Robyn Rochelle Cox
WHOSE AM I?