Last night, I was overtaken by the simplicity of sharing Christ as I mostly listened to a single working mom waiting for her child to finish his martial arts class. She shared her struggles, successes and fears. I hate to admit this but for a moment while the she was speaking, I wondered why God would give me the privilege of listening to her heart. I then remembered an article from a year ago from the network I'm apart of.
Time is beginning to be one of the most valuable commodities we have. To invest your time in someone or something is a very precious thing. Time is something you can never get back, once you've given it away, it's gone. As I have realized this more deeply, it's lead me to towards two realizations that have much to do with the missional conversation and what it means to engage those in your context.
Investing Time in People is Imperative to Missional Engagement
Amidst this rapid pace that our world operates at, among this swirl of humans passing each other on sidewalks and freeways and supermarkets, it's rare to find someone who is willing to spend their time on you. Just you. Because they find value in who you are as a person. It's so rare in fact, that it often causes people to stop in their tracks, it incites curiosity and questions. Why did they take time to look me in the eyes? Why did they ask about my life and sit and listen, like they really cared? Why are they willing to stop the motion of their own schedule, their own plans, attending to their own needs and just be in this moment with me? It's often the first step in showing people a different kind of love, the love of God.
People are so used to others being "too busy". We've all become accustomed to being surrounded by a society drugged by the effects of being on this speeding train that is life. So when someone dares to step off for just a moment, to be still while the world whizzes past in a blur, it is a meaningful and powerful occurrence. I believe that investing the commodity of your time is even more valuable than your money. When you chose to spend time with someone - unhurried, quality time - it changes everything. You will find honest connection. You will see people willing to share their story, willing to go past that surface level, willing to contemplate the deeper questions of life and meaning.
Don't Wait for Free Time
I have learned that in order to say yes to something, you also have to say no to something else. If you feel a pulling inside as you read this, a tugging desire to invest more of your time in your context, you're going to have to say no. In this world, free time never spontaneously shows up. You have to make it, you have to fight for it. If you feel that prodding in your soul to start investing more time in your context, it's time to take a hard look at what you're spending your time on currently and it's time to set some boundaries and say no to a few things. For some people, that's simply reducing all the tiny, needless time wasters like mindless social media, television, and constantly keeping up with the current events of the world when you don't even know the current events of your neighborhood. For others, it means stepping back from being involved in things that are good, even worthy, time investments - but simply not where you are supposed to give your time.
As we lead up to the "great week" as its been called, I'd like to ask you to take a little time and listen to another's heart.
Hope to see you soon!