Originally, when I wrote my first post on Connectivity, I had no plans to make it a series. Yet, the one post has generated quite a bit of conversation. Part 3 is a result of a conversation with my dad and a sermon from this past Sunday at Pin Oaks Christian Fellowship.
My dad read the first post and suggested that to connect one need only listen to the other person. And it is true that people love to have other people listen to them. Andrew Carnegie states in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People "remember that the people you are talking to are a hundred times more interested in themselves and their wants than they are in you and your problems" (page 123). This is the 4th of Carnegie's 6 principles "to make people like you." Listening is very important, but after my dad and I talked it just seemed like there was one more element to connecting.
This past Sunday, Phil Morgan preached from Philemon 1:8-16. Verse 12 reads, "I am sending him [Onesimus]--who is my very heart--back to you." Phil explained that Paul understood on an incredibly deep level what Onesimus was going through, and he was going through the heart-ache with him. Phil explained that truely being connected to someone is knowing their heart, going through their troubles with them, and being there for them even when they don't know you are there (praying for them that is).
A light bulb came on for me, and suddenly, I understood that being connected is far deeper than what I had first thought. Being connected is being there for one another when things get really tough, and we have other things to do.
Phil explained that those with whom we share this deeper than the superficial connection are our support system. They are the ones we lean on, call upon, and depend on when the going gets tough. They are the ones we pray for and who prays for us.
As I write this, I realize that my first definition of co-workers was incorrect. My co-workers are not those with whom I share a job. My co-workers are in this job called life. They are the ones who know "my very heart" and I know theirs. I know what makes them tick and what keeps them going. I know what drives them crazy and what brings them to their knees. I know what makes them happy and brings joy to their day.
My epiphany is that I am deeply connected to some incredible women. These women know me better than I know myself. One friend told me that my son and I are a perfect match when she learned of Snugglebug's diagnosis. I wondered what she knew that I didn't. Now I know that she knew my heart in that moment better than even me. She is connected to me in more than a superficial gather-at-the-water-cooler-discuss-the-weekend-way.
In conclusion, Connectivity begins by listening but continues by getting to know the other person on a heart level. This does not happen overnight, and it is not one-sided. To open one's heart requires you to trust the other person. But, as Phil said on Sunday, "if you never take the risk, you'll never know the reward." We crave deeper relationships with people, but to have a relationship we must commit to being there for one another.
Note: I hope to obtain a copy of Phil Morgan's sermon and link it to this post. As I am not sure how to do that, it may take some time, so bear with me.