Sometimes I get so caught up with intellectual dot-connecting that I don’t pay much attention to how much I learn from personal connections. I view personal interactions as important, enjoyable, and just plain fun. Well, most of them anyway. They are also very instructive.
Here are just a few things I learned this week through various interpersonal interactions:
People do not always hear what we say. We do not always communicate what we intend to communicate. Sometimes people even hear things we never said. Feedback that exposes such miscommunication is a gift. How else would we know?
When you have a little nudge that you should give someone a call, do it.
It’s possible to have a truly nice dot-connecting interaction via email or Facebook. In fact, I’m in the middle of one right now.
My sister was in town for the day on her way to a homecoming weekend with her college friends. It was a gift. There’s nothing like a late night conversation with my sister.
A toddler is capable of controlling his impulses better than some adults. I watched my fourteen-month-old grandson manage the tension between what he wanted to do and what he knew he shouldn’t do. He toddled over to a bowl of potpourri on the coffee table and really really wanted to grab those colorful balls. My sister said a gentle “no-no,” and his struggle to control his little hands was as transparent as the glass coffee table. He waved his hands over the bowl…they were shaking a bit. Then he cradled the bowl with his hands underneath it as if he could absorb some of the off-limits goodies that way. If I’d had the presence of mind to catch it on video it would go viral on YouTube.
Finally, I also learned from some encounters with God. I tend to “learn” the same things about him over and over again. I doubt, and then he demonstrates his faithfulness…again. I am anxious, and then he demonstrates his peaceful presence…again. I make mistakes, and he graciously forgives…again. This week I felt his corrective hand, but as always it was a gentle adjustment to my thinking. I was thankful for it, and I learned from it.
What have you learned from your interpersonal encounters this week?