Are you engaged?

Good morning… I don’t really have a subject today. I have created a habit and it’s very hard not to write every day. Generally, something ‘special’ happens yesterday and I write about it today but, as of this sentence, nothing is standing out. So, I’ll just write about yesterday…

This is the way that my children would tell you about yesterday.
So how was church? – Good.
What did you do at church? – Good.
No, no, no. Are you listening to the question? What did you do at church? – We saw our friends and played games.
What did you do after church? – Good.
Let’s try again, what did you do when you went home? – Played games
What did you have for dinner? – Good…

This exchange can go on forever. My children’s automated response to any question is… good. Many times, they don’t even let you finish asking the question before their answer comes flying out. Do you know how irritating that can get? It’s funny because they are children. But, what happens when we do that as adults? When was the last time that we were really engaged with each other in conversation?

Yesterday, there was a group of about 8 people in a conversation. One of the ladies begin to tell about how she invited a person to church and started to give some background to the person. All of a sudden, 3 of the people just left. No warning. They just exited the conversation in the middle of the person talking. I understand that we had been together for a little while and some had to pee. It was just weird to me and it was borderline rude. But, as I mention about people being engaged, I realize that they weren’t. It’s not that they were being rude. They just weren’t engaged and were focused on other things.

I am not exempt to this behavior. As the minister of music, I have multiple responsibilities at the church. During sound check, one of the technicians had informed me that they couldn’t get some equipment to work because of a power outage. I was focused on the music and singers. So, I referred him to the maintenance man. The tech comes back again. I’m still focused on something else and he gets another referral. Then his dad hands me his phone. I see that it’s the lead technician is on the line. I never put the phone to my head and told the dad let’s just go and fix this. I never realized that the lead tech wasn’t in the building and they had been trying to fix this issue for an hour. All I did was flick one switch. I wasn’t engaged.

In the first example, if the other people could have waited one more minute… In the second example, if I could have just taken a minute… Most of the time, the engagement is only required for a brief moment. Of course, we know that when we talk to so-and-so things can go on forever. Well, I’m not talking about them. That’s a different letter. But, in general people don’t NEED much time. In fact, in many cases, they don’t WANT much time. They have other things to do as well.

So, how do we fix it? I think that we need to show each other more respect. The Bible tells us to ‘do unto others’… What happens when the roles are reversed? What happens when YOU are telling the story or what happens when I need technical support? We expect that appropriate response. No one wants to be ignored or devalued.

So, what now? Plant the seed of love in your heart and spread it everywhere you go. You will be surprised by how it grows.

I love you ALL!!!
Stay blessed,
Jackie

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