Asking and Listening

Asking and Listening June 6, 2011

In my last three weeks before we leave San Francisco, I’m leading my Bible study through a course on God’s direction in our lives and our individual giftedness. It’s a course designed by my spiritual director, Debby Bellingham. It’s called “Kaleo,” the Greek word for calling.

Last night we discussed the idea of calling: the preconceived notions we bring to the word, the ways we struggle with the idea that there is one “great calling” that we have to somehow decipher among the possibilities in our lives, the fear that we just might miss it or mistake something else for that calling.

In her book, Servant Leaders, Servant Structures, Elizabeth O’Connor makes this statement about calling:

“Actually call was to come to most of us through the ordinary events of life, which were to be extraordinary events because we brought to them a new quality of asking and listening.”

What a profound thought. That in the midst of the most ordinary events of our lives: in the spreading peanut butter, the answering of the phone, the planning of meals, the folding of clothes. In the dullness of our days at work: the presentations, the conversations with frustrating co-workers, the lunches in the break room. In the moments at the grocery store, on the bus ride home. In the putting to bed of our children, the relaxing on the couch, the list making and email responding.

In all those ordinary moments, there is the possibility of the extraordinary. The possibility that God is carving something deep into our souls, preparing us for our great role in the story he’s telling. That possibility exists when we are open to the work of God’s spirit in our lives. When we ask for God and when we listen for God.

So here’s my question: How do you make room to ask and listen in the midst of the most ordinary parts of your day?

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