“Therefore consider carefully how you listen.  Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him.”

“Consider carefully how you listen.” These are the words that struck me this morning.  Listening carefully is not about listening well but about responding well.  “Consider carefully how you listen.”

It’s not just about having a lighted lamp, but about putting that lamp in a place where others can benefit (not under the bed).  It’s not about receiving the seed in the soil and just letting worry, money and the pursuit of happiness choke the life out of it, but it’s about “retaining” the word and “by persevering” producing a crop.  And it’s not about receiving a talent from the master and not losing it (Mt 25); that doesn’t do anyone any good.  It’s about investing it on behalf of the master.  As Jesus told the crowd when they reported his mothers and brothers were trying to reach him, “My  mother and brothers are those who hear God’s Word and put it into practice” (Lk 8:21).

Practice.  I like that word.   Practice means grace.  It doesn’t mean “perfect” in itself.  Practice means development.  It means persevering.  It is process.  And I’m not sure perfection ever comes with it but it does give us a place in the game.  Not in the stands.

So I am pondering.  Still.  Wondering what it would be like to take a Scripture and “practice” obedience for X number of days.  Perhaps taking the “practice” of praying for the sick, sharing the gospel, encouraging someone daily, etc… And for how many days?  I am not sure.  Twenty-one as that supposedly forms a habit?  A month?  Forty-days like Jesus in the wilderness?  Still, I am pondering.  Pondering whether this is just another crazy idea (I have an abundance), or if this is something of God.