There are so many talented writers.  Through the ages, our lives have been enriched and changed by people who have the desire, the knowledge, the ability, and the creativity to write.  And I, for one, am thankful for them.

I love to read and I guess I read a lot, but I often get frustrated that I am not reading more.  Everyday I read the newspaper.  Certainly I am behind the times, but I still pay to have home delivery of my local newspaper and my day generally begins with breakfast and the paper.  I forget that I am part of a fading breed.  A few weeks ago at a School Improvement Council meeting at my son’s school, we were discussing ways to promote an upcoming school event to the community.  It was suggested that we might ask the newspaper to run a short feature about the event, but the idea was immediately shot down.  The president of the School Improvement Council said he didn’t know that anybody actually still read the newspaper.  Unfortunately, he’s probably not too far from the truth.  But I do love my newspaper.

And back to the thought that I don’t have enough reading time.  Well, I don’t!  At least I often feel that way.  Especially lately.  There is just a lot to do in life.  Life ~ going through daily routines and adding in things that pop up some days and things that pop up other days.  To take time to just sit down and read is not easy.  I guess that is why I cherish that daily breakfast and newspaper time so much.

I have been in a reading mood the past few weeks.  And that is good, because I definitely go through periods where I just cannot focus on reading, though I would still call myself a pretty avid reader even during those times.  I am concentrating better these days.  I really got into John Grisham’s most recent novel The Confession.  I enjoyed it and I finished it.  I don’t always finish books, but I feel good when I do.  When I completed the Grisham book I was immediately ready for something else.

A small, thin book jumped out at me from one of the shelves in my office.  The book was One Extraordinary Day by Harold Myra.  I have no idea when or where I got the book.  But the day I pulled it off the shelf, it looked good.  It was.  It spoke to me about how I need to be quiet and let God talk.  God does that but most of us are rarely quiet enough to hear Him.  I know I need to listen to God in a much more focused way.  A therapist friend of mine had recommended an author to me.  She actually recommended a specific title by that author.  After finishing the short book by Myra, I checked at my library for the recommended book. They did not have that book.  But they did have another book, The Exquisite Risk: Daring to Live an Authentic Life, by the same author, Mark Nepo.  I checked it out.  I have read a little (in those rare moments when I have time to read) and I am drawn into his writings.  Interestingly enough, in the first few pages, Nepo wrote about listening, and listening to God.  He writes, “When forced to our knees, we are offered the chance to hear the waves of God’s voice, of which we are one, if we leave the noise of others behind.”

But listening is hard.  The world is busy and noisy and chaotic.  Often I don’t have time to slow down and focus enough to just read.  How do I slown down enough to listen to God?  Mark Nepo writes,

     “…how do we listen?  It is simple and so hard.  So obvious to begin and so elusive to maintain.  In this lies the vitality of deep listening.  To keep beginning.  Over and over.  To keep emptying and opening.  And simply to keep listening.”

I want to make more time in my life for reading.  I have made that clear.  Reading brings entertainment and intrigue, information about the world today and our history, but more importantly it can bring knowledge, wisdom, and enlightenment.  I know that more importantly than taking time for reading, I need to take more time to be be quiet and listen.  To listen for God.  As I began, I said that there are so many talented writers.  There are so many writers who have written in such a way that our lives can be greatly enriched.  I am thankful for them.  So thankful. 

Quotes from The Exquisite Risk: Daring to Live an Authentic Life

By Mark Nepo

Three Rivers Press

ISBN # 0307335844

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