When the things of the world seem uncertain or out of control or when your own life feels like it is spiraling, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to push an exit button and just hide away from everything for a little while??
We all know life isn’t like that.
When I look back at some of my greatest times of growth in my life, I recall the challenging circumstances that embodied those times. Those times were often painful times of taking things one step at a time.
I heard a Christmas sermon a few years ago about joy and pain coexisting. I think they do. It is often a matter of perspective and self reflection. This verse comes to mind…
Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters when you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 NIV
I have spent some time the past few days reflecting over a conversation I had with someone. Admittedly, I was in a hurry, needing to work my way through a “to do” list when I had spoken with her. I didn’t realize until later that my non-verbal communication communicated just that…I was in hurry. She interpretted this as she was inconveniencing me and taking time from me she was unworthy of deserving.
I am choosing to use this interaction as an opportunity for me to self-reflect. Life is busy. Life is messy. Life often does not go as planned. Since there is no exit button of temporary escape, how can I endure the pain and embrace the joy simultaneously? In those times when I am feeling overwhelmed, how can I make my interactions with others meaningful despite my own issues?
True, there are times when we need lifted up and supported, but how can we lift up and support others through our own struggles?
I want to be that person that encourages, coaches, lifts up, and slows down. I am not always that person. The lessons I am taking away from my interaction with this woman are…
1. Every interaction matters.
2. Our non-verbal communication often communicates louder than our spoken words.
3. Everyone has a story and that story often impacts our communication.
4. Slow down.
5. Perception is reality.
5. Everyday trials hold lessons from God to grow us.
6. Just listen. Listen attentively. Listen a lot.