Here on the west coast at least if not everywhere, we function in a busy busy mentality. In other words if you have something to say get it out quick and make it compelling or you are likely to get ignored.
I used to do cold calls to New York coffee companies. It would usually go something like this:
Ring Ring Ring
“Hi my na…..”
Really? I lost you before I got to my name? I have three words before you have decided whether-or-not what I have to say is worth listening to?
But that was cold calling. I realize most people don’t have the patience or interest in listening to someone like that.
What about those close to us? What about our family and friends? What about the people we serve?
Do they get three words too?
I have known for some time that I need to grow in my question asking ability. I want to be better at drawing people out and really pursuing them. I think that is hard to do with quick, yes/no questions.
Over the past several months God has allowed me to see a great disconnect more keenly than ever before. On my pursuit of really knowing others by asking good questions and genuinely trying to listen I found one thing over and over.
We live in a busy busy mentality.
Have you ever been three words in when speaking with a loved one and you notice they aren’t listening? They *might* bother to look but their eyes give them away. I often take this opportunity to simply stop talking mid-sentence.
Why are we so busy? What is so important that we cannot simply listen to one another? In my pursuit to be a better listener it grieves me to see painful disconnect on the very ground of building close relationships. Everyday conversations are the brick and mortar of connectedness, of being known.
James 1:19-20 says, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
Be the change you want to see in your relationships and with those you serve.
As James says, “Let every person be quick to hear.”
I believe we disconnect because we don’t really hear each other much.
We might see each other’s Facebook post or tweet. We might send a quick text.
But do the majority of us intentionally listen to hear?
I think we listen for snippets of “useful” information because we buy the lie that we are too busy. Or maybe we buy the lie that we connect through the non-physical means of technology.
Well guess what? We actually need to be physically and mentally present with each other to foster connectedness.
Does a “like” on Facebook feel the same way a physical hug does? Or even a high-five?
It doesn’t because it can’t.
Let’s not forget that God designed us for community.
Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
While all the electronic communication is buzzing the air ways, I want to remind us all (myself too) that we are to not neglect meeting together.
Dear Jesus, I thank you for the friends and family you have put in my life. I realize you chose them for me and I for them so that, as your word says, we can meet together and encourage each other. I believe one way we can encourage each other is to be quick to hear. Lord I pray we would prioritize the people you put in our lives. Amen.