THEME FOR THE WEEK
Monday, March 22, 2021
Listening in the Midst of Change
by Scott Stoner
Change can be scary, but you know what’s scarier? Allowing fear to stop you from growing, evolving, and progressing. —Mandy Hale
In yesterday’s reflection, Donald Fishburne writes about the over-whelming changes that the last year has brought into all of our lives. He wrote openly about the grief and loss that he, and no doubt, all of us, have faced. He says that in the midst of all this change, he has experienced spiritual growth and that he is grateful for how this year has been a form of spiritual pilgrimage.
It was just a little over a year ago that our lives changed in ways we could never have imagined. Given a choice, most people would prefer stability over change, and so it’s not uncommon to hear someone say that they really don’t like change, particularly when it is unplanned. Whether we like it or not, this year has given us all more than enough opportunities to practice adjusting to change.
This week we will focus on listening in the midst of change. This theme is important because it is in the midst of any change that listening is often the most difficult to do. Change, especially when unplanned, creates anx-iety, and anxiety tends to constrict our ability to listen well. It is worth noting in this context that the word anxious is derived from the Latin word anguere, which means to tighten or constrict.
This week we will focus on listening to the full range of our emotions when facing change. We will notice when we are constricting and feeling anxious. We will also notice what helps us to be open to listening to ourselves, one another, and to God, so that we can not only face change directly, but actually grow in the midst of it.
Making It Personal: Name a few changes that have been most significant for you in the last year. Did any of these changes cause you to constrict with anxiety and make it hard to be open to listening to yourself, others, or God? What, if anything, has helped you through this time?