I went to an all girl Catholic school the minute my mom could get a bow to stick to my head. After 17 years of formal education in the ways of the church, I have Catholic reflexes, but I can hardly tell you a story from the Bible, all the deadly sins, or all seven sacraments. I was a terrible listener.
At my once-a-quarter visit to church yesterday, I tuned in at the end of mass when the priest said, “Go forth and serve the Lord.” I never listened before when a priest said that. Instead, I usually stopped listening in the last minutes of the mass anxious to be done and out the door. Those words must have sailed over my head a thousand times. It’s a shame because I thought they sounded great yesterday, clear and simple. I thought I could do it.
Except for dinner, I didn’t do any serving yesterday. Plus, I gossiped about a neighbor, bad gossip. And now it’s Monday. How am I going to serve the Lord? It sounded so easy yesterday. My cousin Susan, who is a life coach, would suggest making a plan. If only for this week, I can certainly schedule serving the Lord. Then I remembered that we’re supposed to make serving the Lord a way of life. This is bigger than kindness, right up there with unconditional love. That priest certainly was asking a lot of us. So, here’s the plan for today. It’s listening hard to people and not giving advice. I just love to give advice, and I find that really listening to people can be excruciating at times. Today I am going to try to listen with both ears and an open heart.