I’m excited right now. Excited and grateful. Excited for some enjoyable conversations and interactions today, and grateful for the places God has placed me in and the people He has connected me to.
Today is one of our long campus tour guide days. We are ‘working’ from 8:30am-3:00pm (approximately), with a lunch break, and a few other small breaks too. That means a lot of time with other tour guides. Which is awesome. The reason I title this post “Reminder to Self-Go Deep” is this: people long to connect to others in a meaningful way. Let me expound upon that. First off, people love talking about themselves. One of the greatest lessons and “people skills” I’ve learned (yet wish I kept at the forefront of my mind more often) is this: everyone can teach you something, and in interactions with people, simply try to learn as much about them as you can, and take a genuine interest in them. As humans I think God has designed in such a way that we long to “know and be known”. A phrase I heard years ago in church, but I recognize it’s truth more deeply as I mature.
Taking that into account, I recognize daily the enjoyment of a deep, meaningful conversation or interaction. We had about a 45 minute break, and a small group of us (tour guides) were sitting in a circle, and I was being asked about recent news in my own life. But I also wanted to ask them a question that would cut to the heart of what’s going on in their lives and in their minds and hearts. And so I tried. And it was awesome. Just one question, and yet it opened the door to numerous conversations that rarely get discussed. I hate surface level conversations. I hate them. And yet, I too often initiate them, or maintain them. And I recognize that time constraints, or numerous other factors often need to be taken into account for reasons that we can’t always sit down for an hour and “ponder the deep meanings of life”. But we should do so more often. We should express true care and interest in others more often. When it does, it “bears much fruit”. Now, whether that conversation was like today’s-why do you care about certain social causes, what motivates you, do you think people are special, what do you think about Rawls’ theory of justice, what do you think about Christ, and so forth. And these questions that launch into more questions, and dialogue, and where truth can be discussed, explored, and found.
As I think to Randy Newman’s book “Questioning Evangelism”, I’m reminded of his exhortation to never forget the value of a well-placed question. So as I write this to myself, I remind myself-go deep! Learn what makes people tick, learn how they think about anything and everything, and genuinely care, ask follow up questions, and speak your convictions and truths that you know. May we seek out and engage in these types of conversations often.