Have you ever met one of those people who seems to be so full of wisdom that you hang off their every word? I had such an experience today. Her name is Margaret and she is a member of the church that I attend. I haven’t really had the privilege of speaking to her until today.
Now I must admit that I’m a bit of a talker and am not as good at listening as I would like. Sometimes when I’m speaking with someone, I am listening but I’m also thinking of what I might say in response. Not with Margaret. Her gentleness, joy and wisdom had me quiet right from the start and I really listened to what she said. What did she say? Take time to listen. At the time I was telling Margaret about an idea I have for an evening that I would like to start up at church just before Christmas. As I’m due to start a new job in September, I was sharing that I want to be careful not to take too much on and burn out or get stressed. She listened with a smile on her face and gave me lots of encouragement about my idea before adding: ‘Make sure that you take time for yourselves (nodding her head towards Mr P and I), as you need to listen when starting something new.’ I thought that this was a great piece of advice. How often I rush in to start something, eager and excited, without planning in any time to be quiet and reflect on it all. I think Margaret was also saying that it’s important to take time to protect your marriage and family relationships as they can be the first to suffer in busy seasons, yet are by far the most important things in life.
I don’t know if you believe in God or not but I do and so does Margaret – in a big way. She would not be happy for me to recount this conversation and miss out what she said about God too. To be honest I don’t normally share much about God on my blog for fear of ‘preaching’ but I feel that I must be honest as God is the biggest thing in my life and for me not to mention him would be, well, somehow dishonest about who I am. So, if you do believe in God then Margaret’s further advice may also be relevant for you. She said that when we start being busy with something church related, we can easily start taking on things that God never meant for us to do! Hence the burnout. That’s why it’s important to listen, to make sure that you don’t try to do things in your own strength and set yourself workloads that were never intended for you.
This whole conversation lasted approximately 3-4 minutes but it’s advice that I know I will probably carry with me for the rest of my life and maybe even pass it on in conversation to someone else one day. I hope that when I’m old (no offence Margaret), I’m as wise as this wonderful lady and that young women stop to listen to my encouragments and advice. She’s a great role model for me. Praise God for the Margarets of this world.
Do you have someone like this in your life? What advice have they shared with you? Pass it on!
Have a great Monday.