True story: I went to a 2 hour "Art of Listening" seminar by Dr. Larry Crabb and fell soundly asleep. When did Larry get that old?!? Nevertheless, I still managed to take some notes, which I will share here.
Download the audio seminar: Listening: the Spiritual Art of Discernment (Part I) and Listening: the Spiritual Art of Discernment (Part II).
And don't you worry, i'll be back to my short, quippy blogs soon enough.
We tell our stories as:
- Tragedy--feel sorry for me, i'm a victim
- Romance--i want to matter
- Irony--i become a cynic, hungry for meaning
- Comedy--my identity becomes a clown; i keep everything superficial; i'm scared to death to get real about how life really is
But here's the more honest way to tell our life story: as a transcendent drama. A grand story is taking place from eternity past to eternity future and I get to be a part of this drama.
And in this art of listening (hey, wake up!) here are 7 categories of thinking which ought to frame how we interact in relationship:
- Teleological Curiosity
- Be curious about the direction God is taking the other person. The Spirit never sleeps. He is always working. In most conversations, we are so self-obsessed that we never ask, "What did you mean by that?"
- What is this person most afraid of?
- We bear the image of a relational God. We long for relationship but we tend to deny them because they will ultimately only be bet in Christ. This either leads to great disappointment or great hope. We groan. Our desires leaves us empty.
- We don't recognize what our real motivation is. God is committed to another's well-being at any cost to Himself. Yet we fall short of this every day. Jesus wasn't killed--He chose death.
- The freedom to indulge what you most want to do. Christianity is not about restrictions but opportunity. It's about indulging the deepest desire of a God-invading heart. For the Christian the deepest desire is to be love and the deepest need is to be loved.
- Anchoring hope from entitlement to expectancy. When God created people, what did He have in mind? He wanted to invite people to a party. Sanctification is dancing. When we say, "I'm sorry....but...." we aren't asking for forgiveness. Rather, we are offering an explanation. We want understanding. But God offers pure forgiveness. No understanding needed.
- Shalom is "everything the way it is supposed to be." He tells the parable of St. Augustine. Make a list of everything that you really want. Then God says, "I'll give you everything on that list, but on one condition: you will never see My face." The chill you just experienced is your deepest love.