Monotony can beat a person down. The same old, day-in and day-out routine will numb our senses and dull our excitement. It’s hard to appreciate the depth of life and living from under the weight of administrative routine and meetings to discuss it.
We had a consultant come in last year who is a psychologist and wise counsel for us. As I sat with him for my alloted time, he asked me some questions, took some notes, crossed some things off and then circled one thing. He said, “this is what you are all about; you want to invest your life and time in things with eternal impact. Everything else is a pretty distant second.”
Immediately that resonated with me as true and I was affirmed in why I had made choices that I had in my career as well as our overall situation as a family. Once you’ve tasted and seen, it’s hard to un-see and you never want to go back to the routine. Once you’ve entered in, it’s hard to come back out.
More than in any other way, that satisfaction comes when interacting with people in a place of depth. When we get to get past the courtesies and into the heart of the matter, not only do I enjoy it but it invigorates me. It changes the whole day.
I made the point in my last blog entry that the primary place of a priest is to minister to the presence of God. The next stop is to minister to His people; and all people are His people. You and I are both designed to be priests unto the Lord and ministers of His eternal truth. We are invited into the people business. A few things I’ve noticed in this endeavor:
- Engage in a conversation that goes beyond the weather
- Resist the urge to hang out at “what do you do?”
- Watch and listen for answers that reveal the issues
- Pay attention to what and how they are saying
- Non-verbal communication counts
- From the heart, the mouth speaks
- First and foremost, comfort and encourage
- You can’t fix anybody, but you can leave them better
- It’s amazing how better we feel after we do this
Ask for eyes to see and ears to hear and then engage the world around you as the priest and minister that you are designed to be. It’ll stir up life and hope in you even as you carry it for others.