BUILDING BRIDGES INSTEAD OF WALLS

IMG_2088.jpgThe greatest communication skill is paying value to others. ~ Denis Waitley

If I wanted to help someone go from point A to point B, but there was a great divide separating A & B what would I do? Build a wall or build a bridge? The obvious answer is to build a bridge. The person may decide to stand his or her ground on point A, but, this person also has the option to cross over to B. 

Now, say I wanted to help someone go from point A to point B and I build a wall, what happens? I’ve created a barrier. 

I’ve seen a lot of wall builders lately. And if these people honestly wanted to help others to see the other side, they would build a bridge of reason, not a wall of anger and hyped-up fear. I also see wall-building in relationships. Friends who have everything going for them except for one thing—politics. And yet they sacrifice that friendship on the wall. People are actually devaluing their friends for a temporary situation. 

Listen folks, Trump isn’t the only wall builder in this country!

BE STILL AND “KNOW”

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When I was a little girl I had a parakeet named Butch. He was green with a yellow head. I loved that bird. In fact, I love birds of all kinds. Every day I would stick my hand in his cage and hold out my finger. He’d step on it and ride out. I’d move him to my shoulder and he’d hop on and stay there most of the day. When I washed my hands he’d sidestep down my arm and play in the water. When I ate lunch he’d help himself to whatever I was eating. Then, at the end of the day, I took him back to his cage. He stepped on my finger, rode it inside and hopped on his perch. For the rest of the night, he chatted with and kissed the reflection in his mirror.

Fast forward through the years. One morning I heard a horrible commotion behind the glass of my fireplace. It looked like an ash tornado in there. I opened the doors to see a little bird. It must have fallen down the flue. I spoke in my quietest voice and reached inside. That bird went ballistic. It nearly knocked its little brains out flying from side-to-side, up and down trying to escape. I kept saying, “Be still!” Finally, I caught it, took it to the door, and set it free.

Now what is the difference between these birds? Butch knew me. We had a relationship. The little wild bird only knew one thing—his life was out of control, he perceived he was in danger, and he was going to do something about it.

For the past three weeks I’ve been meditating on the a phrase found in the Psalms, “Be still, know I am God. This admonition is given by the God of Jesus Christ. When He said to be still, He is asking us to let go. To surrender. That isn’t always easy is it? Sometimes it is hard to let go of that worry, to let go of all the things that make our souls twist up in knots, and to quiet our minds in this loud world.

God understands this. That is why the emphasis is put on the second word, know. Knowing the heart, the character, the nature of God gives us a calm confidence. A relationship with God is the same as a relationship with a new friend. It takes time  together to know someone. Relationships grow over time. Light is shed on misconceptions, trust is built, understanding deepens.

The unexpected bonus is that as we grow to know God, we begin to know ourselves. We realize we are worthy of love. And then we recognize that value in others. Even those we disagree with. Neat huh?

May your 2013 be blessed beyond what you can think or even imagine. May it be one of a still and confident mind that comes from truly knowing God.