Have you ever noticed the reaction of a teenage girl who unexpectedly sees someone they know in public?
There are usually loud screams, excited hugs, and the occasional jogging in place. You’re picturing it right now, aren’t you?
I witnessed one of these chance meet-ups recently. I observed two girls who genuinely seemed glad to see each other.
And their encounter got me thinking. I want to be more like that. I mean, not the screams or the jogging in place, but the excitement over seeing a familiar face.
I don’t know about you, but when I run into someone, conversations can sometimes go like this:
“Hey, man. How’s it going?”
“Pretty good, thanks. You?”
“Not too bad. (Awkward pause.) Well okay, you take care now.”
Those conversations are inevitable…we’ve all had them, but should they be the exception or the rule? And, let’s be honest; typically, we aren’t really asking how someone is doing, are we?
You see, I’m often so engrossed in myself that when I see someone I know, I barely say hello.
It’s not that I don’t care, it’s just that I’m thinking incredibly hard about my own to-do list, my own issues and problems. I’m a husband and father of two young children…we all wear many different hats…and there’s always a lot going on and a lot to think about. And, I don’t often turn those thoughts off in order to focus on the person in front of me.
The Bible tells us to “be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10)
I think that means we should consider what’s going on in someone else’s life more important than what’s happening in our own.
I don’t often do that.
But, what if I did? What if I had this mindset when I ran into people I know…or even a stranger?
How much different would my conversations be?
You know there’s a hurting world around us…a world full of folks that need a friendly face. In fact, every Sunday morning during prayer request time, I’m reminded that people are mortal, pain is real, and Jesus is our hope. And maybe those chance grocery store meetings are actually placed before us by God…so that we can be devoted to that person in love and we can honor them above ourselves.
What if we got excited…teenage-girl excited…over every encounter? And what if we treated those encounters as opportunities…to give someone a smile or words of encouragement, and to spread a little hope?
How cool would that be?!
So, take time this week to really ask someone “How’s it going?” And don’t be afraid to act like a teenage girl!
What about you? Are you able to turn off your own thoughts when you talk with someone? Or do you have some work to do in this area also?