What are the people in your life doing today? I didn't ask what you are doing - I asked for you to tell me what they are doing. Do you know? Did you bother to ask? If you did ask them, what was the motivation behind your asking? There are times we ask what someone will be doing or what they are doing right now because we really want them to be doing something else - something we want done. There are also times we ask because we don't want to interrupt them if they are knee deep into whatever it is and our interruption would only waylay them, robbing them of their time and energies that would be best invested in exactly what they are doing. I think we might not do as good of a job 'understanding' what another is doing, though. We 'hear' them tell us they will be doing this or that, but do we take time to understand the 'why' behind their 'doing'? It may seem insignificant, but when I realize someone I care about is doing laundry for the fourth time this week, I may begin to appreciate they need some help with the task!
Nothing should be done because of pride or thinking about yourself. Think of other people as more important than yourself. Do not always be thinking about your own plans only. Be happy to know what other people are doing. (Philippians 2:3-4)
Our plans are good, but I think some of us may be guilty of trying to always include the other person in our plans, sometimes at the exclusion of theirs. When we begin to see how another prioritizes their work, we get insight into where they are investing their energies. For example, I 'prioritize' my blog for first thing in the morning. Why? I am at my best and this is the time I have set aside to get alone with God, study his Word, and let his words come through me. Yes, I have written a few blogs later at night, but the truth of the matter is that I am a morning person. Early to rise and early to bed. That's me. When someone wants to support how it is I 'do' my day, they will also recognize the importance of me giving my best time of day to God first. Understanding why a person prioritizes their day's activities is only one way we begin to understand how they 'do' life.
Some 'do' life 'out loud' - needing to talk through things with others because in so doing they find their 'answers' are sorted out - not because the other person had the answers, but because in talking them out, they were able to see them clearly. Learning to listen and not 'talk over' someone who needs to 'talk through' their plans is hard sometimes. We want to 'interject' our ideas and thoughts about how they should 'do life', but in truth they aren't asking for our opinion or approval! They are merely using that time together to bring clarity to their plans - by talking them through with another. Others 'do' life in a more 'list checking' kind of way. They are organized to the 't' and find it absolutely mind boggling to live without a list. They don't understand those who can live 'spontaneously' and just 'do' what suits them at the moment. They 'need' their lists - it gives them focus and they thrive best when they have focus.
You see, we all live life a little differently, don't we? We all 'do' life at our own pace, using our own 'methodology' for how we get things done. Instead of trying to make someone live life as we do, it is quite honoring of the other to allow them to do life as they do. Just sayin!
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