You get on your train. There are two seats left. One is by yourself, on the other side of the train there is an empty seat next to someone. That someone is reading your favorite book. Where do you sit?
I saw this commercial today, where a couple of adults have ear pieces in and their task is to make a new friend, talk to someone new, but connected to the other end, telling them what to say and do are kids no older than 8, and it came so naturally to them, but along the way we seemed to have lost a little bit of that. And after the commercial was over, it made me think about the question I asked, and I wondered what the normal reaction would be?
Before cell phones, computers, twitter, snapchat, Instagram, instant messaging, and everything else, there were only two ways of contact. There was face to face, and house phones, that was it, and even to get the house phone number you had to verbally ask the other person for it, so really face to face was the only way. It was normal to see someone at a coffee shop and start talking about the menu today, or at a bus stop asking them where they are going, the point is, these small first encounters were normal and expected and brought people together. It was a necessity to put yourself out there for twenty seconds, to see where it might go. I love the movie We Bought A Zoo, first of all because in it he says"You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it"
But then i started to think, we can still do that today, we can still talk to the person next to us, so why don't we. I think truthfully, it is because of an image, have you ever sat in front of your phone thinking and thinking of the PERFECT message. A message that takes you half an hour to come up with, writing and deleting, and repeat. With social media being such a big part of this century, we feel like we have to keep up an image, and a persona, and if we don't come off at first glance as smart as we want to, or funny, or cool, then we think the person on the other end will immediately be disinterested. I have done this of course, I have tried to get up the courage to go up and say something to the person behind me but then gotten stuck because I couldn't think of the "right" thing to say. I had to tell myself one day NEWSFLASH-- there is NO right thing to say. I would much rather someone talk to me and start off by saying " Nice shoes", than missing an opportunity to meet someone new because I or they were worried about how thy would appear. Now of course there are exceptions, stranger danger and obviously not overstaying your welcome or anything like that, but in everyday life, we should just go for it!
God mirrors this, He wants us to come to Him as we are. He doesn't give two hoots about our clothes, or how many gold rings we have, or if we have the best pictures, all He cares about is who we truly are. I think that is what we have lost a little bit. When we meet people, and I mean truly meet people, not their online persona, or their over text message confessions, etc. When we meet people, who are right next to us, there is no hiding behind labels, or followers, or fashion, or the life we choose to put up. We are just there, that is how God calls us to Him, and that is how I want to be called to others. It takes courage, no doubt, and there will be times that people don't want to talk, or you don' hit it off, or maybe you get a little embarrassed. But think about all the times we did that to Jesus, He was ignored, scoffed at, laughed at, denied, and the list goes on, but Jesus didn't let that drive him away! Because-That feeling and gift God gives us to be connected to one another, to become close and reveal love and spread it, is worth it all. God knows this takes courage, but He will give us that courage, He will give us the words to say.
Just 20 seconds .
what could live beyond the other side of that conversation?
So. I'm gonna go grab my 20 seconds, meet me there?