Sometimes it is the trivia that delights me. For instance, the words “Lent is” and “Listen” are anagrams of “Silent” – they all have the same letters and can be switched around. One of the pastors used these words in a recent homily. As we experience the fourth week of Lent, I thought it would be interesting to look at these words.
First, let’s look at “Lent is.” We can begin by asking ourselves what Lent has been like for us so far. To do that, we need to take the time to be silent. For each of us, being silent means different things. It may mean getting up a few minutes earlier to have some quiet time, or it may mean spending some time reading instead of talking on the phone, texting or playing computer games. It may mean writing in a journal. It possibly could mean making a cup of tea and just sitting still, being grateful for the little things.
This leads us to the word “Listen.” In order to listen, we must stop what we are doing and be silent. Have you ever noticed that when someone is speaking to you, you are already planning what your response will be? Do we really listen to one another? If we find it hard to listen to someone right in front of us, how hard is it to listen to God? There are some folks who really are good listeners -- we know who they are. The rest of us need to practice really listening to others and to God.
I have found that my best place to practice listening is while driving long distances. No radio, no tapes -- just me and God (and sometimes some crazy drivers!). Some of my best ideas for writing, solving a problem, helping someone with a difficult situation or just praying the prayers of gratitude take place in the car. This week, let’s each check in to see what “Lent is” for us and check if we have been able to be “Silent” and “Listen” to what God is asking of us.
Till next week,