You know that lady at Costco who has the clicker in her hand as you come in? Counting people.
Wednesday was like that for me. One click for a voicemail to our daughter. One click for a question to the school secretary. Two clicks for greeting the lunch ladies. One click for a message to the principal. One click for hearing the student who didn’t have time to study for a test. One click for the chat with my new friend from Ecuador. One click for sitting next to the Awana girl who has captured my heart. One click for thanking the Awana leader who told me I did a good job teaching. One click for answering the phone call from my boy in Texas. One click of gratitude to the husband listening to me tell about all my clicks.
A normal day.
That night I was lying in bed awake, evaluating all of those interactions.
There was no time in between people to get my act together and to prepare my heart for goodness in each conversation. People just kept coming across my path, one after the other. Ready or not.
I thought about how extremely important it is that I grow in understanding and loving people well before I meet up with them.
In Mark 1:35 we learn this about Jesus:
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Every day Jesus experienced solitude, prayer, and then crowds –in that order. Always people crowding around. Click, click, click. This morning I read that people were even desperate to touch Jesus’ robe so they could be healed, and today that would translate into 567 text messages. I hate to bother you, but I was wondering if you could help me?
I so badly want to have rich relationships with people. I want all of those contacts during the day to be meaningful and encouraging, so I pray and work on it all the time. I have such a long way to go, but I can also see moves forward. My heart is growing, so I thought I would share what I’m doing that is making a difference:
Three Ways You Can
Prepare for Relationship Success
Spend quality time with people who highly value relationships and who always turn conversations toward forgiveness, grace, kindness, peace, patience, healthy confrontation, and loyalty. Their perspective will start to rub off on you.
Learn more about relationships. If I could boss you around, I would tell you to go immediately and buy Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change, by Paul David Tripp. Every page drips with insight based on biblical truths. I’m coming to the end of this book and plan to start it over again, so I can work on practicing what I’m reading.
Spend time reading the Bible and praying every morning. The Bible is relationship-centric, so every day you’ll be challenged to get your relationships with God and people in order.
Here’s a question to get you thinking: Who is the next person you’ll probably run into today, and will he or she be able to tell your heart and mind have been growing in love?