Sit and Listen.

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  • Luke 9:35
  • John 10:4-5, 27
  • Psalm 46:1-3

If you are like me, talking is your favorite past time and not just talking but laughing and joking around in general. I am the happiest when the people I am around are smiling and laughing. You know how Buddy the Elf says, “Smiling is my favorite!” Well, I converted that and made the, Sydney the Elf version, which is, “Joy is my favorite!”

Back on subject here. When it comes to talking, I am really good at it. I should be good at it considering I have spent the last 4 years of my life studying the art of communication. But I used my gift of communicating as a crutch. I grew to hate silence. My quiet time was not necessarily quiet. When I prayed I would fill the moments up with my own ramblings and never take a moment and truly breathe and listen. If no one at small group answered a question I quickly became the person to interject and answer so the silence would be a little less awkward.

And then my thoughts on silence shifted.

I love that sometimes the biggest breakthroughs come out of the most uncommon places or people. A couple semesters back I had two classes on news reporting and interviewing. As a reporter or interviewer you have to be okay with silence. There is a technique that famous reporters and interviewers use to get answers out of the interviewee. Y’all you seriously just have a stare-down with your interviewee (in the most polite/yet stern way of course).

What my professor said next, wrecked my world. She said, “People are so afraid of silence and awkward moments that if you just quietly wait for them, they have to fill the silence with their voice. They can’t stand it.”

That was me. I was the person that was so afraid of silence that I had to interject my voice into anything and everything, even in my QUIET time with Jesus. I slowly began letting go, and listening.

And it changed my relationship with Jesus. Praying didn’t seem like a one way conversation, where I flooded the throne room with my voice and requests. I imagine Jesus was patiently whispering, “Sydney. Hey Sydney. I love you.”

Listening enveloped my entire lifestyle. In situations where I don’t know what to say, I take a step back, and I listen. No, in Sydney’s world, his voice is not an audible voice. It is more like an intuition, a feeling, and I know it is Him because it isn’t what I would normally do.

Right now it can be hard to know what to say.

Do I address this tragedy of people dying on Facebook? What can I say that will actually help the situation? Will it just add fuel to the fire? How can I do anything?

These are the honest thoughts I had. I stepped back and I listened and I prayed and prayed. Father, give me the words to say.

And do you want to know the answer?

It was simple, and perfect. “Love. I have called you to love. Love them, don’t judge them. Love both sides. They matter to me, so they matter to you. Spread the joy I have given you.”

We have the ability to sit and listen to the creator of the universe. He has your answers, He knows what is best. Not that girl’s video on Facebook, not that post on Instagram and not the hashtags on Twitter.

Listen and pray, because He is ever present and near to you.

  1. Do you refrain from sitting and listening because you worry the voice in your head is not God speaking to you?
  2. How often, in a week, do you interject because you hate silence?
  3. What steps do you plan to take to make yourself a better listener to God and for your peers?

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