Then there are the discussions on threads of Facebook, emails, and text messages. In today’s mail I got not one but two solicitations from phone companies wanting to expand those capabilities.
If you were to count up the hours you spend talking and broke it down into subject matter, how much of it would really be talk that uplifted you or your companion and added to your knowledge base in a way that took you to another level of development?
I tried something today. When I met my friend at the park to walk I started out our conversation with a question about fasting and prayer. I had heard a one minute spot encouraging people to start a period of fasting and prayer beginning in a couple of days through the end of the year. My question was, “Why and what would a person gain from that?”
That one question began a discussion that at the end of an hour of the deeper conversation it ignited had indeed increased my understanding of how different people sought and gained a deeper sense of the spiritual in their lives. Including my friend’s spiritual position. We both agreed, based upon the sharing of how life had unfolded for us, that there is more at work than just us–that there is indeed a path we each are destined to follow. I believe that if we listen instead of yap all the time we will hear the directions we are to go.
Yesterday’s lunch was another example of an hour of talk that was more than the typical yapping that folks tend to engage in over lunch. By the end of that lunch my new friend and I had realized how much we had in common and that we had met for more than just adding another friend notch to our belt–that there could possibly be a bigger picture involved.
Another good aspect of deeper conversations is that God can step into the conversation easily, speaking through you or your friend to give each of you a word that you need to hear, or a question answered that had not even been asked. Because you choose to spend time in a conversation he feels good about entering, his answers are there for all involved in the conversation.
Final word for this post on philosophical discussions: take the chance and begin conversations with your friends on subjects weightier than the service person that gave you a hard time, or that incident with your boss, or what you heard about one of your co-workers. Until we become more than 1/2″ deep on our surface with others, we cannot cultivate a life with the deep roots it needs to really flourish…to reach our full potential of service in this life.
Talk, they say, is cheap. Let’s increase its value.