Monday, November 02, 2015

First Listen. Then Do.

Two ships on Lake Erie

A lot of what I do in life comes out of my prayer life. 

As famously stated: Doing needs to come from being, and not vice versa. All relevant "doing" comes from abiding in Christ. 

"Relevant doing" is called: obedience. Doing for doing's sake is non-obedience.

"Obedience" has the Latin root audere in it, from which we get our English word "audio." Obedient "doing" is audio-relevant. It comes from listening. Often, this happens as we pray. In prayer, listen. When directed, do. Listening precedes doing.

Don't "do things for God" without consulting God first. Baptizing one's doings in prayer without being led by God to do those things is to move without God. This is not good. 

I like how Thomas Merton expressed this. He writes:

"There are men dedicated to God whose lives are full of restlessness and who have no real desire to be alone. Interior solitude is impossible for them. They fear it. They do everything they can to escape it. What is worse, they try to draw everyone else in to activities as senseless and as devouring as their own. They are great promoters of useless work. They love to organize meetings and banquets and conferences and lectures. They print circulars, write letters, talk for hours on the telephone in order that they may gather a hundred people together in a large room where they will all fill the air with smoke and make a great deal of noise and roar at one another and clap their hands and stagger home at last, patting one another on the back with the assurance that they have all done great things to spread the Kingdom of God." (New Seeds of Contemplation)

First listen. Then do.