Listen to Your Life

“Listen to your life. All moments are key moments. I discovered that if you really keep your eye peeled to it and your ears open, if you pay attention to it, even as such a limited life as the one I was living on Rupert Mountain opened up onto extraordinary vistas. Taking your children to school and kissing your wife goodbye. Eating lunch with a friend. Trying to do a decent day’s work. Hearing the rain patter against the window. There is no event so commonplace but that God is present within it, always hidden, always leaving you room to recognize him or not to recognize him, but all the more fascinating because of that, all the more compellingly and hauntingly…If I were called upon to state in a few words the essence of everything I was trying to say both as a novelist and a preacher, it would be something like this: Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”

  • Have you wept at anything during the past year?
  • Has your heart beat faster at the sight of young beauty?
  • Have you thought seriously about the fact that someday you’re going to die?
  • More often than not do you listen when people are speaking to you instead of just waiting for your turn to speak? Is there anybody you know in whose place, if one of you had to suffer great pain, you would volunteer yourself?

 In your answer to all or most of these questions is no, the chances are that you’re dead.

Frederick Buechner

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