images-1Conversations can be confusing. Completely.

It’s all about context.

I just returned from a weekend with some dear friends. We’d spent time talking, sharing, interacting as only women can do. Laughing till we cried. Connecting at deep levels.

And then it was time for shopping.

I’m not a shopper by nature. I fail to see the fun in looking for something I neither need, want  nor can afford. However, being with friends while they shop is a peek into their inner psyche–fun and funny. So I will do it with great joy because being with people I love trumps my lack of enthusiasm for retail therapy.

A group of us were returning from one location when we were called by one of our own to see if we could pick  a couple of shopping stragglers up at another location.

No problem.

We were given an address to an outlet mall, having been told it was only a few minutes away. So we did what every other sane woman would do.

We plugged it into our GPS.

We faithfully followed directions, dodging Saturday shopping traffic, passing a horrific accident, being slowed down by rescue vehicles. Even taking that into account, it was not a few minutes away.

Forty minutes later we arrived, having received text after text from the exhausted shoppers.

We agreed to meet them in front of Banana Republic. Which we quickly spotted. One of our gals jumped out as we yelled, “Look for the gal in the fiery red pants.”

We watched as she paced back and forth in front of Banana Republic. After five minutes, she returned. A tad frustrated. The conversation had gone something like this.

‘I’m in front of Banana Republic. Where are you?”

“I’m right here. I can’t see you.”

“Well, I’m here, standing by the fountain in front of Banana Republic.”

Pause.

“There is no fountain in front of Banana Republic.”

Right. We were at the wrong mall. The right address, but the wrong mall. Two similarly named outlet malls. It took us another fifty minutes to get back to the place with the right address. And guess where it was.

Two minutes from where we’d begun.

Conversation includes the art of listening. Something I often find difficulty in doing because I have so much to say. And too often, I think what I have to say is more important that what I’m hearing.

Even with God.

So often I want to hear from Him, better understand Him, talk to Him. Complain to Him. And the noise in my head and the words in my mouth block His gentle whisper to my heart. Especially if He’s saying something I’m not wanting to hear. So my hard heart acts as ear plugs. And I stop listening.

“Today when you hear His voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled…”  Hebrews 3:7-8

Listening is helpful. Particularly if the one I need to listen to is God.

It helps me get to where I need to go.

Picture courtesy of askville.amazon.com

3 responses »

  1. stacey says:

    It’s hard to listen sometimes. Baggage, preconceptions, and misgivings get in the way. So do expectations and wishful thinking. SOmetimes we hear so much which iisn’t ever spoken, and sometimes we don’t pick up on the nuances which mean the most. It’s all so hard. But you have reminded me of the most important one to listen to. Thank you.

  2. alice fredricks says:

    Love it, Dayle…I see myself in this blog in a huge way! Yes, I, too, need to listen more intently to people AND God!!

    Love you! Keep writing!

  3. JulieS says:

    Yes, listening is an art — whether I’m following directions from a friend, or trying to follow God. I’m glad you were there to help me laugh through it all. 🙂

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