Listening for the Holy Spirit

On Sunday 10/29 I actually did something I always mean to do and even try to do, but never feel like I do a good job of actually doing. And that was being still and listening. Actually fully listening. Blocking out my thoughts and hearing what God was trying to tell me.

I’ve come to realize that most of my “revelations” about a Scripture or an event are borne from thinking of things and entering into a sort of dialogue with God about it. So instead of being absent from thought I have thoughts. But it is a matter of honing in on that one that God is calling me toward, and not just my own.

And so I sat in 7am mass with a “free morning” ahead of me. Nora was over my parents at a sleep over and I would be free to do whatever I wanted – estate sales? shopping? cleaning? And graciously I actually remembered to consider and contemplate what it was that God wanted me to do with my day.

I sat quietly, waiting for mass to start and thought about what God wanted me to do with my morning. It was easy to identify which were thoughts and things I wanted and I swiftly told myself to stop thinking and listen instead. “You could go to a garage sale… Shhh!!!” was my inner monologue. 

And amazingly once I shushed myself I stopped thinking. It was an interior quiet. It probably didn’t last long but I perceived it then the next “thought” I had was about the 5K I had run the day before, the fact that I thought I saw my friend Nate there, and the feeling of “I still look for you”. From that it was clear how I needed to spend my morning —  sit down and write a poem about the feeling of still thinking I see my friend even though he died 2 years ago.  

I got home, put my laptop on my dining room table, grabbed a coffee and I sat and wrote. For just under 2 hours I worked on the poem. I just started writing and the ideas flowed. I got quick moments of memories of English classes and Poetry writing styles — and when I stumbled on the theme it was “Explore that one” without any doubts about going in that direction. I shed many tears, emotionally experiencing what I was writing.

I would say “The poem wrote itself” But truly it was God who wrote the poem. And the feeling of contentment which I experienced after the poem was written was so profound. It was clear that God wanted this poem to be written. For some reason He chose me to write it. And when people compliment the poem or identify with the poem all the credit and glory goes to God. 

God will use you and do amazing things when you take the time to listen to Him! So be silent and listen. 

Here is the poem (click the linked text): 

I still look for you


And then on Sunday 11/12 God gave me a smile with the mass’s First Reading: 

Resplendent and unfading is wisdom,
and she is readily perceived by those who love her, for it
and found by those who seek her.
She hastens to make herself known in anticipation of their desire;
Whoever watches for her at dawn shall not be disappointed,
for he shall find her sitting by his gate.
For taking thought of wisdom is the perfection of prudence,
and whoever for her sake keeps vigil
shall quickly be free from care;
because she makes her own rounds, seeking those worthy of her,
and graciously appears to them in the ways,
and meets them with all solicitude.

-Wisdom 6: 12-16


Even if I forever more fail at perfectly listening to God like I did that Sunday morning I will live a life knowing that for one brief moment I listened well enough and did what He asked. And in that memory He gives me much contentment.

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