Monday, September 28, 2015

Open for Business

This past summer I was at camp getting ready for a week with 160 middle school friends and adults and wanted to get dinner with our set up crew. I asked one of the camp staffers what he recommended and he sent me to a local restaurant with good healthy options and a decent cost. We were looking forward to trying a new place, but were quickly disappointed. When we arrived the sign on the window said they were open for business and their posted hours indicated they should be ready for us. Sadly, it was clear no one was there and we weren't going to be able to try this place after all. Even though their outward signs might have indicated they were available for our business, they obviously weren't.

I wonder how often I portray that some conflicting message to people around me. Am I really making myself available to others or is that an inaccurate representation? Am I "too busy" to be available to my wife and my children? Am I taking the steps to clear my mind and be in that moment when someone says they need to talk? Am I actually open to people who are seeking guidance or mentoring? Am I am available to my neighbors for more than just a casual wave as I drive down the street? Am I even available to God or am I too busy filling my conversations with Him with my own requests for what I think is important? 

I can't just give lip service to the idea of being there for people, but need to show a willingness to participate in life with them. That means I've got to set down my agenda and schedule and focus individually on the person in front of me. This takes extra effort, but genuine relationships are only built when we actively engage in each other and are available for developing community that lasts.

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