I try to listen to every message John Ortberg preaches. This message on hope is worth a listen. It’s 27 minutes of encouragement, challenge, and … well, hope.
Then there’s this podcast interview with Bill Thrall, centered around a great question to ask someone you love: How am I affecting you?
I placed a request for the book You’re Not Listening by Kate Murphy. (I think I’m #11 in line – and libraries are closed, so it may be awhile before I get a chance to read it.) My interest in reading her book has only increased, though, after hearing her share insights like this:
…In a conversation, you’re always in control if you’re the one who’s talking, or you feel like you are. And it is an element of giving up control when you decide you are gonna listen to somebody. Because you don’t know what you’re gonna hear. You don’t know where it’s gonna go but, you know, that’s the grand adventure. And also, you know, that’s why we’re here. To connect with one another. And so you know that’s, that’s the difference, is having that courage and also having that curiosity.
We love to be in control. I love to be in control. How often do I bring that approach to a conversation? And how often is my attempt to control the conversation with someone really just an attempt to control them? The effort to move beyond control to connection involves humility – or, in Murphy’s words, courage and curiosity.
One more quote from Murphy: “You don’t have to act like you’re paying attention if you actually are.” Ouch. How many times do I need to remember that quote?
Speaking of listening, Storycorps is an effort to get people to tell their stories – building connections through listening and sharing. Separated from someone you love, and looking for a way to connect? Why not interview them, and share it with others through Storycorps?
One more podcast I’ve recently enjoyed: an author new to me, Diana Glyer. I was drawn to the conversation because of her work on The Inklings – the gathering of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and others. Her conversation focuses on how to have people around you to encourage your efforts on writing – but she reminded me that I need people around me, no matter what endeavor in life I’m pursuing. I expect the same is true for you. As for me, I need some folks who may simply just pray for me. Others might hold me accountable. Still others may work well as conversation partners for me and my wife. I can think of people who fit the bill in all three areas. I hope you can too.
Finally, this wonderful mash-up of dozens of British churches singing apart, but as one – calling on God’s blessing over their land. May that be true for ours, as well!