Our Spiritual Toolbox
   Week 5:


Our first two tools are about our hearts and our faith.  Courage is our integrity of heart that is seen through our words and actions.  Stubbornness is an anchor that keeps us sure and steadfast in our faith and commitment to Jesus.  This week’s tool, openness, connects us to the world around us.  Like a pair of pliers, openness has two handles, listening and learning.  Like a pair of pliers, openness won’t work without both its handles.

Listening means we put some spiritual duct tape over our mouths so that we listen with both our ears and our hearts to another.  We seek to understand, not just their words, but the person.  This won’t happen if we are interrupting, or worse, not paying attention because we are focused on our responses and come backs to the other person.

The openness to listen is connected to the openness to learn.  When we listen, we grow in our understanding of others, their lives, our world, and God.  This kind of learning is so much bigger than “facts.”  It’s a kind of learning that creates wonder and humility. It gives us the wisdom we need to live out our faith in community and to use our tools of courage and stubbornness well.


O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouths of babes and infants
you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,
to silence the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them?

Yet you have made them a little lower than God,
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
    you have put all things under their feet,
all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
    whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Sovereign,  how majestic is your name in all the earth!    — Psalm 8


 ♦ Reflecting on this week’s scripture: 

– What words or phrases speak to you?  Is there anything here that is uncomfortable for you?
– How do these words express openness to you?  Where is heart listening and learning?  What about wonder and humility?


Pay attention to your openness to listen to others this week.  Listen to understand and to learn.  This doesn’t mean you will always agree with what is shared, but rather, that you give another the opportunity to safely share without interruption. 

Pay attention to your openness to learn from others and the world around you this week.

Go outside one night to spend time with the stars and the moon.  Let this be a time to listen to and learn from God.


Psalm 8 above is our prayer this week.  

Let it open you up to listen and learn with wonderment and humility.