|Meet some of my high school posse.|
I'm always up for a conversation with this crew.
We share tons of history.
They're among my biggest encouragers.
As you probably already know, I've been hard at work finishing a novel--my first and maybe last and haven't been posting here as often. I finished that first draft last night! Because I want to stay in touch while I grind away on revisions, I'm sharing something I wrote for FaithHappenings, an online devotional I contribute to on a regular basis. I hope you enjoy it.
BLAH BLAH BLAH
In the name of conversation, we’ve all been held captive by people who love to talk without any expectation or desire for a response. If they aren’t airing their current worry or complaint, they’re bragging about their successes or the latest exploits of their perfect offspring. Whether they’re just bores or lonely individuals in need of a social outlet, the reaction is the same. What a relief to get out of their clutches.
LEARNING TO CONVERSE
Then there’s the introvert, who finds chitchat excruciating. One of my grandsons fell into this group during high school. Even though I’m sure he talked to his friends, he never spoke at family gatherings. We joked that you needed to be a lawyer to get the latest news through cross examination. We were thrilled when he returned from his first semester of college with newfound conversational skills.
I confess there’ve been times, even as an adult, when I’ve felt inadequate in making small talk at social gatherings. Usually, it happens when I find myself among strangers with knowledge and interests so far out of my experience that I can’t even form an intelligent question. What I’d give at such moments for a know-it-all to enlighten me.
I’ve come to understand that true conversation is a give-and-take endeavor, involving genuine interest in another person. It also requires good listening skills and the willingness to share something of ourselves. Who hasn’t felt invigorated by a lively discussion with colleagues and friends who enjoy common interests? Both the challenge and camaraderie of such exchanges enrich our lives and strengthen relationships.
But, for me, the most rewarding conversations are what I’ve come to refer to as Divine Appointments. I’m thinking of encounters with individuals who share a life-defining experience—good or bad, a belief or an interest in a cause that leads to a heart connection so strong we find ourselves opening up to one another. Somewhere in the process, we come to know that person on a deeper level. Such interactions seem to be orchestrated by God Himself and often bring healing to one or both parties while strengthening our faith. Lifelong friendships have been forged from such moments.
My hope is that you have experienced such joy, and my prayer is that we will always be open to God’s blessed encounters.
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Col. 4: 5-6
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Labels: Conversation, Divine Appointments, Encouragement