Do you remember those AT&T “reach out and touch someone” commercials back in the eighties?
Or the “can you hear me now” cell phone commercials? Apparently at some point, the actor in those advertisements switched from Verizon to Sprint. I’m sure during a time that I was having a baby, because I didn’t even realize there was a change until surfing around the Internet to find example videos for this post. It’s like I lived in a fog of sleep deprivation for an entire decade. Then I went to nursing school. All of that to say I missed quite an extensive period regarding anything pop-culture related.
However, that’s not really the point of this post. The focus I’m aiming to bring is in regard to personal connection. This is a topic I see highlighted in my life over-and-over again. It’s my experience that the Lord works through connecting His people. I could tell you story-after-story, but let me share with you the most recent.
Thursday I was sitting at a quaint coffee shop in a trendy part of Tulsa for a chat with two people I didn’t even know just a few weeks ago. To tell you the truth, part of me didn’t want to go. I kinda wanted to bow out. Why? Because I’m a newbie to the arena of writing. Sure I’ve been hanging out here on my online home sharing the messages of my heart for the last six years, and I’ve even had the opportunity to write a handful of guest posts for other sites, but this coffeehouse connection to the world of writing looks a little different than what my scenery has been the last few years.
Stepping out of our familiar can be totally intimidating, sometimes displaying our lack of experience and knowledge. But my thought stepping through those coffeehouse doors was that the Lord must have developed me to a place of opening that door of connection to those on the other side of it. Only He could have established such a meeting—it surely wasn’t due to any of my own stellar abilities. And you know what? What started as a meeting ended as a beautiful connection three and a half hours later. Yes, you read that correctly. Three and a half hours later! I could have listed the reasons not to seize that opportunity, but Wow! What I would’ve missed out on. Simply put, the two people I spent my Thursday afternoon with are just great people to know. But the way our Heavenly Father connects His kiddos is bonus-feature kind of connections. I can see how that meeting was part of accomplishing His plans and purposes for the things He has called me to do. In summary, it’s not about me—it’s about Him fulfilling His beautiful plan. And He does that through HIS PEOPLE!
This is where I’d like to circle back around to those telecommunication commercials. How are we doing with reaching out and touching someone? How are we doing with sharing our hearts and hearing others? Can you hear me now?
Friends, is it possible that connecting through the conveniences of our smart phones has diminished the quality of those connections?
Are they strong or poor? Are they solid or lacking?
Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love scrolling through my feed and seeing what is going on in the lives of my friends. But have you ever got together with someone who assumed you saw something because they posted it on social media? Have you ever felt terrible for not knowing about a major life event in the world of someone you care about?
I’m inclined to share another story, but in consideration of word count, will deter. I will however say, I understand. I totally get it. The schedules are packed. Or sometimes it just feels awkward. There is just so much to keep up with.
Allow me to encourage you to push past what has become the cultural norm of electronics to preserve the art of communication and cherish the gift of human presence.
There’s no way you could do that with everyone—sometimes distance alone presents the biggest challenge. Nevertheless, make sure you’re getting out of the house, the commitments, the schedules, every now and again for the sole purpose of carving out time for connections. Take a meal to that friend who just had a baby. Your congratulations on social media make that new mama’s heart beam, but seeing your face and being blessed by your food will be an investment she’ll treasure forever. Send a card to the friend whose grandpa just passed away. There’s nothing like opening the mailbox to a message of love and sympathy in those hard times. Or here’s what may seem like the simplest challenge, but I know all so well it’s not: go to the next get together your friends invite you to attend. It’ll never be convenient, but it’ll be oh so worth it!
Even if it means stepping through some coffeehouse doors to meet new people—be blessed by exploring the beautiful possibilities of building strong connections.