What are you listening for?

A while back, some friends and I met with a lovely woman who wrote a book some of us had read about the different stages of the faith journey.  She lived close by, and she was willing to meet with a handful of youngish women with big questions.  I was really excited to find out some Answers.

After a wonderful afternoon of sharing, she left us with three questions that we should ask God:
1.   What is the next step in my journey?
2.   What have you made me for, God?
3.   Who are you Jesus?

Those pretty much sum up the questions to which I was hoping she would help provide the answers.  What do I do next? How do I know whether to quit my lawyer job, to find another job, or to stay home with my kids?  What should I do about church? How can I tell what God has made me for?  And who is Jesus, really?
No answers.  Just more questions.
And questions that I am supposed to ask God?  Does God really answer questions?
She was confident that he would.
I left that meeting with a full heart, determined to ask the questions and to listen.

I am still listening.

Somewhere over time, I think I realized that maybe the Answers aren’t the end goal.

I wonder if listening is.

True listening is worship.  When you listen with your soul, you come into the rhythm and unity with the music of the universe.”[1]

Maybe we are supposed to move from Questions to Peace, not from Questions to Answers.  That path may look different for each person.  There may be common threads or practices that make us ready for that movement.  But I don’t think there is a formula, only grace.  Grace that we need to listen for.

Maybe when we are listening, we will hear a whisper of the answer.  A whisper is just enough to give us hope and possibly a next step.  But not too much.  When we are left wanting more, we keep asking the questions, we keep listening.

This longing you express is the return message.”  – Rumi

[1] John O’Donohue, Anam Cara, p. 71.

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