Time Out

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”-Matthew 9:35-38

I’ve been reading in Matthew over the last couple of weeks as a part of The Radical Experiment, which is an outflow from the small group study we did on the book by David Platt throughout the fall. Although I’m slightly behind on the reading the Bible in a year commitment by a few days, I am really digging into the plan. My small group has committed to this experiment for the next year, as we began on December 1. You can read about our journey through that here if you’d like.

My vacation from work started two weeks ago, as this time of year and summer is really the only time I can be off from work due to the school schedule. I am thankful for the time away as it allows me to plug into other things I cannot do during the year. I’ve gotten to volunteer a substantial amount more over the last month and I’m so thankful for that. I absolutely love it. Last week I went with a lady from another Bible fellowship class to visit members of the church who are now residing in nursing homes. We had such an amazing time visiting with one woman, who talked sports and church with us. She was an original member of the church as a child, and loves the Vols. It was such a blessing to hear her stories and spend time with her.

Do you take time to listen? Do you take time to sit and truly soak in what someone else has to say? I’ve found myself in the midst of all the craziness of the holidays that I was rushing around, not listening, but formulating responses or ticking off lists while others were talking to me. I’m ashamed to admit that, but it’s true. I’ve thought on it and have resolved to listen beginning now. Listen to others, to what they’re going through, what’s on their minds, their stories…and not attempt a response. Why does quiet or silence have to be awkward? That’s processing…My prayer for each of us as we head into a new year is to listen more….take that time to listen to others, and most importantly to God. He’s speaking, but am I listening?

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