Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Leave The Shallow Behind

It is so sad to see people have such shallow conversation. We seem to stay right above the surface. Just getting our toe in the water, but never diving under. I don't know if people don't really care or if we are afraid to go deeper. 

Recently my husband and I had seen someone at a local store. We were on our way out at the same time. What caught my heart was that my husband and I stopped, while the other person was in such a hurry they couldn't even stop for a moment, but talked as they walked away in the other direction. In that same store we too had seen another person we knew. Again, they were in such a hurry that they never even stopped. Now, we aren't especially close with either of these people, but we have known them for years. 

It's just terribly sad to me that we simply can't take a few minutes to just be friendly. But then again we live in a world where we would rather send an email or a text instead of truly connect to people face to face. Whatever is easiest, right? I mean after all we are a hurried people with places to go and things to do. 

So often we put people off. What we must realize is we don't always have a next breath. There isn't always a tomorrow. We must stop taking people for granted. Let me be real. We have to get over ourselves and stop thinking that we are much more important than other people. I think we like to say how busy we are. Maybe it makes us feel important or fulfilled or maybe it just makes us look to the other person as if we have so much more going on than them. Ouch!

We expect from others what we ourselves are not willing to give. Take a chance on people. Spend time with family. Call parents and check in with them. Go by and visit grandparents. Drive to see children and grandchildren. Have Sunday dinners, monthly visits, celebrate holidays together. Don't just expect your phone to ring or have someone show up at your door. Take every opportunity to spend time with those people who are important in your life. Birthdays are so special to celebrate life lived and love shared. We tend to forget those who are most important to us and fill up our calendar with dates that don't have any lasting legacy. 

Don't get so lost in busyness and our own thing that we don't have time for people. Let's face it. We are busy people, but we are busy with what we want to be busy with. We can always come up with an excuse, right? There's always something to take up our time. But what happens when tragedy happens and life is lost? We cry as we look back at the last time we spoke to that person. We live now with regret for not giving them more of our time. We attend funerals with such sadness and regret over our own actions. We don't have to do so. We don't have to live with regret. We can change the way we react to people. We can be determined to have family time. We can be intentional in how often we reach out to friends and family. 

It is heartbreaking to see how distant we are with people around us. We have relationships with people who are so near to us as if we live thousands of miles apart. We must make more of an effort to reach the heart of those near and far.

My mom has brothers she hasn't seen in years. They haven't even spoken over the phone. I've heard my own mom say, "Well, they can call just as easy as I can pick up my phone". I have replied to my mom, "But why wait? What happens when no one calls and then one day there isn't going to be anyone to call". What does it matter who calls who? Just pick up the phone!

Stubbornness is another excuse. Sure we may be angry with someone, but the more time that is spent not talking the more that bitter root grows. But again, it's communication. We simply don't communicate what's on our heart. We are afraid to go deep, but it's in that deep that we truly get to know the heart of another and my friend, it's worth getting out of our comfort zone and just beginning a conversation. 

We can get out a calendar and set dates to remind us on Sunday we are calling Mom and Dad. At least once a month we can share a family dinner. We can send cards and handwritten notes to those we love. When was the last time you opened up the mailbox and found that someone had taken time to send you a card just saying, I'm thinking about you? It's almost unheard of in our world today. 

There is so much for us to share. Stories of the past and the heart of who we are now. We are ever-changing people, but our conversations seem to stay the same. I want to know the heart of people. We each have a story, we have struggles, and blessings flowing that should be shared. I want other people to know my heart. To actually invest our time in others not only benefits them, but us. It is so wonderful to talk with friends and share intimate parts of our life. It seems no matter what we share our conversation always returns to Jesus. How He's moving in our lives or how very much we are in need of Him.

Relationships are not always easy, but they don't have to be so difficult either. It seems we make them difficult. Why? Because we make everything about us. It depends upon how much of ourselves we actually want to invest in another. If we aren't able to give of ourselves how then can we expect others to do so?

When we spend time with God it helps us to put everything into perspective. When we put God first everything else falls into its perfect place. The more time we spend with our Lord the more compassionate we are, the more patience we have, and we too realize what's truly important and what isn't.

Every single action is a choice. We choose to make time for people or we don't. When we don't we will sadly look back with such deep regret for the time that passed quickly and was wasted. We need to make room for people in our lives. Let us forever remember that love is spelled T-I-M-E.

Today is the day we can change things around. We can live determined lives. We can be intentional about reaching out to people, family and friends. We take so very much for granted. Life can be altered within a moment. There may not be any going back to make up lost time, but we can begin today by not allowing  anymore of it to slip past us.

Call your mama today. Visit your daddy this evening. Check in on your grandparents and see if they need anything at all. Spend a day with your grandchildren. Take a friend to lunch. Be there when needed and more importantly want to be present with those who love you so much. You may be surprised at how much of yourself you uncover by spending time with others.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you." Matthew 6:33

"Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit." You don't even know what tomorrow will bring-what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes. Instead, you should say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." James 4:13-15

"Don't neglect to do what is good and to share, for God is pleased with such sacrifices." Hebrews 13:16

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