"Humans reward enterprise, while nature rewards patience."
"It became clear to me that there is more to be discovered than invented..."
(Wes Jackson, Altars of Unhewn Stone, p. 8)
When Lori and I became trainers in the Couple Communications curriculum, we were struck by how much of the focus was on listening -- listening to self, and listening to your partner. Anchoring the teachings is something called "the Awareness Wheel" that helps focus ones attention on different aspects of internal and external messages -- raw data, thought processes through which we filter the data, emotions, resident wants, and both attempted and intended actions. Real communication occurs, according to the curriculum, when we become mindful of all those aspects of ourselves and also our partner. Awareness. Attentiveness to what is going on. Listening.
From the wisdom of his farming, land management
I think about how much of my time is spent trying to be inventive -- creative, imaginative, clever. Interpreting a biblical text; writing a sentence; bending the grammatical form of a word. It isn't, I would argue, a waste of time. For one thing, it's fun. It gives me a buzz. For another, I do believe that creativity reveals one dimension of the image of God within us.
But recognizing, as well, that my crafty imagination pales in comparison with the Divine one that took mud and made it Me, discovery promises, indeed, to be an inexhaustible well into which we might dip whatever buckets we can find.
Is it possible that patience, itself -- time abandoned, attentive listening and looking -- could be grace-filled enterprise?