If mission is compelled by love, then we must embrace listening as one of the most loving things we can do. Our ability and capacity to listen in love is directly proportional to our patience. Impatience and lack of listening are the opposite of love: they are not kind; they are both arrogant and can be rude.
Patience versuse impatience is one of the most common themes in the Bible: Abraham waited decades for a son, and just before God fulfilled His promise, Abraham’s impatience led him to take matters into his own hands. Moses got impatient with Israel, and let his frustration show many times during their forty year wandering. It took Joseph at lead half a century to declare that God used his abusive family, jealous boss’ wife, and forgetful servants for his good.
Everyday mission is an opportunity to take matters into our own hands or to trust God. Will we take matters into our own hands, or patiently play whatever part God has for us? And can we learn to be patient enough to listen? To listen to the crying world around us? To listen God?