The Reward You Get

Wednesday. Hump Day. The middle of the week. Many are just trying to make it ’til the weekend. Surviving, not thriving. I get it. But I do not want to be counting my days like that and with the new year fast approaching, I would like to resolve to do more than ‘survive’ in 2018. On my former blog, I had started a section “Midweek Minutes” posted on Wednesdays on the topic of wisdom, and I hope to post here as I am able.  One of the studies I had done was about listening. Do I listen or talk more? Do I have an opinion formulated before the other person is done talking? Do I often interrupt? No comment. I will admit I need to work on a few areas. This week’s entry came from a quote about ‘listening skills’.

“Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk.” -Doug Larson

I looked up a few synonyms for ‘listen’:
→ Observe,
→ Take notice
→ Consider
→ Be on guard
→ Focus
→ Wait

There is more involved than just hearing when it comes to listening. It takes action, effort, discipline even…which sounds like work, doesn’t it?

“Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.” Proverbs 19:20-21

This week’s concept is not about just listening to others in conversation (family, friends,  co-workers), but about hearing counsel and receiving (accepting, acknowledging, deferring to) instruction. When I am given advice, how do I respond? Defensively? Most likely. There is no expiration date on this verse or an age limit. Wisdom is a journey, it seems, and a concept I wonder if I will ever grasp. When I think of a lifetime of listening, hearing counsel, receiving instruction, it can feel a bit overwhelming. “Practice makes progress”, I have been told.  Wisdom is the reward when I remember to practice observing. Wisdom is the reward when I develop consideration. And wisdom comes when I am faithful to focus and wait on God to show me His direction.