My thoughts (David Zier):
Our lives are so full of doing. I am not criticizing being a doer, especially since I am one myself! We are taught by our society that life is all about getting to the next place, getting all you can grab, and collecting the most toys on the way. It seems we are all so full of doing stuff; it is hard watch, wait, and listen. These require me to stop, put aside what it is I am so preoccupied with, and seemingly, do nothing. How counter-cultural is that!
Have you ever thought about what it would be like to just watch, wait, and listen for God? Think about what it would mean to stand night watch, or to be the security guard on duty, or a military guard on watch patrol. You need to use all your senses to be on lookout. Not only do you need to be quiet so you can listen, but you need to always be looking around to see what could be there. You need to be so still that your own body is not the distraction you hear and see! It also requires one to be in tune with both your body and the environment that your instinct will tell you when something is not quite right.
Watching, listening, and waiting on God is much like this. Tuning your eyes and ears to spiritual seeing and listening, and being still as a result of God’s peace and presence can seem so far away. When we tune our inner senses for sights, sounds, and stillness to God, we can allow ourselves to be immersed in the God who provides us life. Impossible?
In today’s reading, we hear something that might help us. Happy is the one who listens, watches, and waits. It does not say, “Happy is the doer and busy body.” This is not just about our physical senses, but the spiritual senses of waiting, watching, and listening. So what does that mean? God’s presence can come to us in images, ideas, words, inspiration, whispers in the ear, nature, the people around us, and the world and happenings around us, even in the stillness and quiet. The more I wait and listen and be still, the more I will notice. Maybe writing down what I hear, see, and sense from God will help me. Maybe I can even write down the dialogue I am sensing with God in the moment.
When was the last time I really listened for God? I am not talking about listening for what I want to hear, or reacting to my own impulses. This is where the watching and waiting comes in. This is more about contemplation. Waiting. Being Still. Listening. Maybe that sounds hard. Maybe it is how I can give God my undivided attention!
Thought for the day: What would it mean for me today, to listen, and watch, and wait for God? Why not practice this, so that it becomes more of who I am, so I can carry it with me throughout the day.
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.