Monday, November 22, 2004

Taking the Time

Late last week, Mark at Sidesspot wrote about the busy-ness of our lives and the "importance of hanging out" when he linked to the a recent series at It Takes a Church.

Mark's comment:
We hurry to our deaths in our culture and don't even realize it. Or, we realize it but we feel powerless to do anything about it. We need to learn how to take control over our schedules again. We need to re-commit to our spouse, children, relatives, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to spend real time with them and to thwart the busyness lifestyle that stultifies our relationships.

I agree, but I think there is another point here relating not to the "re" committing to other relationships, but to the actual committing.

Sometimes as Christians, our lives our so scheduled with Christian activities, duties, services, etc - that we forget what it was like before we became a Christian. When your life isn't overscheduled by something, most new relationships are forged by time spent just "hanging-out" - talking and sharing about life. In order to share the love of Christ to those that don't know Him, we need to show that we care. We need to show that we care enough to participate in a non-structured, under-scheduled activity - that we care enough to just hang out and talk, even when there's no meal or coffee (or ice cream :) involved. Being able to give our full attention to people without those people thinking that the only way they can see us is if the meeting happens to fall during a meal - is an important part of the witnessing process.

To be sure, I am not discounting the very real bonding opportunities that meal times offer, nor am I forgetting that we all need to be careful about how we spend our time and with whom we spend it. My point here is related to sharing about Christ and His love with others. There are of course many different ways to do it, but being willing to "hang out," listen and talk is one that seems to be overlooked from time to time.