I was lost in thought on the regular walking route from bus stop to office this morning. A brother-in-Christ passed me. Only immediately afterwards – once the crowd had absorbed us in our respective journey streams – did we acknowledge each other. It was he who had seen me – my thoughts already upon the day’s workload.
It was a striking reminder of how time is fleeting. Moments are there to be savored and yet they so often slip away. There was nothing rude or inconsiderate in my failure to notice my brother as I was instead simply suffering from being mentally elsewhere. Nonetheless, a valuable opportunity to give and receive greetings and to have a brief conversation was gone. The small conversation that would build our relationship was lost. The hastily exchanged text messages afterwards that shared greetings were apologetic yet; for my part, wanting.
It bought to mind a verse from Proverbs:
"A person’s steps are directed by the Lord.
How then can anyone understand their own way?"
So often we are on automatic – the journey from a transit point to office so well-trodden. We don’t step out of the mental map that is ours “in order to negotiate the world” (p210, The Power of the Other, paperback, Dr H.Cloud, 2016). It takes something out-of-the-ordinary to startle us, to make us really see or care. A brother is just another face in the faceless crowd unless we look out for him. And yet, our steps are of the Lord who created us and loves us and seeks our return. God knows our foibles yet still holds us and minds our step. How can we possibly understand our way without God when it was he who “laid out the foundations of the earth”, Job 38:4, or determined the earth’s measurements, Job 38:5, or set the ordinances of the heavens, Job 38:33?
“If you ever want to have a household meeting just turn off the wifi router.
Everyone will soon join you”
Attributed to Minions
"All real living is meeting"
Note: The full title for the book is: The Power of the Other: The Startling Effect Other People Have on You, from the Boardroom to the Bedroom and Beyond – and What to Do About It”.