I presented an idea to someone who has historically been to busy to listen. I did everything that I knew would help. I was short, concise, and too the point. I match my style to his style. I arranged my schedule to his schedule. I focused my presentation on eliminating his hot buttons first, clearing a path so that he could easily, painlessly, and readily endorse my proposed plan of action. He still found a way to be negative!
I have no idea of how one gets through life without listening. Far too often I find myself rediscovering anger, frustration, and an extreme competitive spirit when I know the person on the opposite side of the table has, isn’t, and will probably not listen to what is being said. Yesterday was one of those moments. A brief period in time that stretched into slow motion and reconnected me with a ugly part of my soul that usually remains hidden. The one question that changed everything was a simple one. What if he actually has a point?
Rejection, bigotry, and ignorance are parts of life everywhere one goes, lives, or works. You cannot escape from these irritants but at the same time you don’t have to let them control your values and priorities. Because others do not listen does not give anyone a license to ignore others and perpetuate the unlistening!
If I answer the hidden question of yesterday of will be stronger today. If I deal positively with the challenge today the opportunity will have a stronger chance of working across a number of critical fronts. Others have found that “a lot more people entrusted their lives to him [God] when they heard what he had to say.” (John 4.41) Perhaps this is the window in which I can do the same thing! Listening to others is a start to real engagement. Clearing the attitudes and others blockages from my ears could make the difference between existing and serious living!
Question is will I take the step? Can I muster the courage? Today not tomorrow. Now.