Life is a series of waits, especially waiting in line. Waiting is something we all do a lot of so the question is, “What do we do while we wait?”
I’ve noticed a trend, from people waiting in lines at stores, restaurants, and at stop lights , people are connecting with people. This is a good thing. The only problem is, they aren’t connecting with the people around them. No, they are practicing the neo-art of social networking. They are Facebooking, Twittering, texting and otherwise communicating across invisible lines with people who aren’t actually there. So, what about the people right around them? What about those right around ME?!
Just the other day Elisabeth and I waited in line at a book signing for over two hours. Of course, we began the wait by briefly chatting with each other, saying a gratuitous “Hello” to those around us and then, like most of the others in line, began talking or searching or inputting on our preferred electronic devices. After a few minutes of this we introduced ourselves to the people around us and then… Wow! The next two hours seemed to just fly by. What we discovered were some incredible people who God was working through in amazing ways. They had stories. They had lives and loves, passions, pursuits, and hurts. We connected, really connected. Even more amazing, we didn’t need a log-in name and password to do it. Sure, before parting ways we traded our networking info – emails, web addresses, etc. But there would have been no reason to do so if we hadn’t put down our iPhones (interesting name in this context) and made it a point to do something that is threatening to get completely out of vogue in some circles, we made some friends.
The point is simple. You may be thoroughly connected as a leader with a growing number of people via an increasing array of social networking outlets. Sure, you’ve got business to attend to that requires burning some minutes on your wireless plan. But, don’t forget about those the Lord has strategically placed right around you. These are real people, in real time that may just really need your encouragement, and you theirs. Who knows what connections for Christ and the advance of His kingdom may be waiting for someone to genuinely ask, “So, how are you today?” After all, we managed to do life and ministry for some 2,000 years before the invention of the iPhone and Blackberry!
Discover anew the art of making friends and sharing life with others while you wait in yet another line somewhere today. Get into the habit of connecting with those right in front of you before those who may be miles and miles away. You’ll be glad you did!