Thanks for the great question. At first glance, it seems contrary to some training on listening I have had. “Don’t run on ahead in your mind and think about what you are going to say as soon as there is a break in the conversation.” That happens more in informal settings and less in pastoral care situations, but I do have a tendancy to follow little (interesting) rabbit trails esp. if it triggers similar stories or emotions. I take this suggestion for lag time as a chance to move the camera angle a bit. What are my options in my next question. Should I pursue a feeling, get more data, clarify, paraphrase, reach out and touch and not ask… My first thought is not always my best thought. It is like Jesus writing on the ground when he is being pressed with a seemingly no win situationwith the woman caught in adultery.