Sometime what we see or think and what is are very different. Take for example a still lake, not much wider than a football field. When you look at that very still and rather narrow body of water you may think that there isn’t much to it. But if you decide to venture out into that water you may find something very different. Even though the water on top is not moving and looks remarkably like glass, just below the surface there is a strong current keeping that water ever fresh and moving. The surface may look like just a shallow river but if you go out in a boat with a depth finder you may find places in that water that are greater than 40 feet deep. So many times we look at life and people the same way.
In our modern society we are often so busy going from one event to the next that we forget those events are usually centered around people and relationships. If, for instance, we go to a soccer game with our child but spend the entire time we are there checking our cell phone, Instagram and Facebook accounts we are not present to the mother sitting next to us who may need a friend. If, on the other hand, we take the time to enjoy the game and visit with those around us, we may find a strong support group or new best friend.
Many family relationships are stressed and pulled apart by our inability to go deeper than casual conversation about the weather or latest movie we watched. Too often we assume we know who someone is, or what they believe based on one comment. By not taking the time to actually ask them what they think about a particular topic (and assuming we know because of that one comment they made three years ago) we so often get it wrong and hurt or offend them. This can trigger a spiral of anger and resentment that can lead to permanent breaks in the relationship.
Lets challenge ourselves to begin looking at the world around us a bit differently. Let’s take time to be present to the people we are with, ask them what they believe about a given topic, listen to them when they answer. Maybe we’ll see that our friend is much more complex than we originally thought. Like a calm river with a rushing current beneath, most people have a surface they show to the world and it is only when we take the time to listen and understand that they share who they really are beneath that image they show the world.
What is it you’re facing? Nobody goes into battle alone. We can stand with you. Let us know in the comments below how we can pray for you, or by submitting your story.
He will fight for you.