We must be silent before we can listen. We must listen before we can learn. We must learn before we can prepare. We must prepare before we can serve. We must serve before we can lead. –William Arthur Ward
I hate it when I get smacked in the face with something I know I’m not doing. As you’ve read, and likely will continue to read, my daughter and I have a complicated relationship. I guess you would say it is typical. I know, I’ve said all the same things to my mother over the years, it’s just that I wasn’t NINE when I said them and she would have smacked me back into next Tuesday if I had been. But I digress and my time sans baby is short.
How hard is it for us to be silent. Almost as hard as it is for us to be still. To pause, to stop multitasking, to stop looking at the clock, or the text messages, or email, or our Facebook updates. To be still and silent. Ah to be able to meditate.
Right now, for a short moment, I am alone in my house. There isn’t tv or radio or phone. I can hear the clicking of the radiant floor as it heats up. The hum of the refrigerator, a truck outside on the main road. I can hear my own thoughts. And if I waited long enough, I could likely hear the voice of God.
I especially like how this quotation ends– “We must serve before we can lead.” Serving is a very hard thing to do in this world. Everyone wants to be in charge. It’s the managers, the leaders, the executives that get all the credit and kudos. It is the janitor, or staff member, or clerk that gets laid off when times are tough. But acts of service require us to be humble. They prepare us to take charge.