So far this month we have talked about keeping anger out of our interactions with others, how to give love, how to receive love, how we are different and how we are the same, and how we all have something different to bring to the table. All of this, along with the help of my five year old son, Elijah, has led me to question what I would even be without other people. I only see myself as a silhouette without others. Have you ever thought about just how important other people in your lives are? What would your life look like without the people you have come to expect in it?
Fresh off Christmas, Elijah and I are still pulling out all of the new toys and gadgets he received as gifts even several weeks later. The other day he came across one of his Mario Karts and asked, “Daddy, what would you do with one of these if I gave you one?” That is the question that prompted this whole thought. I responded, “Well buddy I would race you and bump into you! I’d take mine outside with you and see if they could jump off the stairs and land on their wheels” followed by a weird laugh. We are all kids in this house.
That response for some reason made me realize a gift is worth nothing if it doesn’t connect me with someone. Every reason I would have been excited about his gift was because “I could race you” or “I could bump into you” or “be with you.” Everything was about “you” (the other person).
I think about my wife who just last night stayed up late to console me through a personal crisis. I get anxious. I get frustrated because I want to take on more than I should as a dad. She is the part of me that isn’t anxious and is patient when I am not. As an introvert, I think about all my extroverted friends who have taken me in. They are the part of me that boldly reach out and keep conversations moving when I will not. I think about my sweet little loud, messy boys that remind me life is fun when I just want to check things off a to-do list.
Sure, there are times when that Netflix time alone is absolutely necessary, or that gift just for you will advance you, but how far can that go and still be truly satisfying in your soul? This is why other people are so vitally important. If I had to sum up what I would be without other people I would say this:
Without others I am limited.
Without others I am incomplete.
Without others I am not satisfied.
Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “..and let us consider how we may encourage one another to love and to do good deeds. Not forsaking our meeting together, but encouraging one another.”
I think this is in all of us to reach out to another, to encourage one another, to connect one another. Who would listen to our song or our story? Who would add to us? As much as we may think we are introverted, or that we don’t need people, that can only be temporary and our lives are so much deeper than a temporary feeling. I encourage you today not to push away the people that add to you, the ones that complete you, and the ones that bring you satisfaction.
I would love to hear what your opportunity to push someone away was but how you fought through that and let them in or reached out. What did you gain? What did you let go of?