Isn’t it odd how we Canadians take such a long time to trust each other enough to build a relationship, yet it sounds like the missions team built quick friendships with the workers and families in Leon. As cautious Canadians, can we learn something from this?
Because we think we have all the time in the world to build relationships, we keep putting it off … to the point where we don’t take the step at all. However, the missions team knew they had limited time so they just dove in with both feet. How can we apply that mentality in our own lives here?
That is so insightful. In general, due to a lack of urgency, we put off important things in our lives. A timeline of two weeks does not allow for you to do that. Perhaps, we should break our lives down into smaller segments … somehow … and create short-term goals … and perhaps create a greater sense of urgency … contionusly operate as if we had two weeks to live. I realize this is probably unrealistic but just throwing the idea out there.
Great thoughts Mimi and Nel!
This serves as such a great reminder of truth that I so often forget. Isolation can seem appealing in the moment because it feels like the easy, non-messy route but I have never regretted taking a “relational risk” (whether that be opening up to someone or inviting someone out for coffee or anything else) after the fact!
I can only imagine the sort of reverse culture shock the members of our mission team will experience when they come home. Working and living in a close-knit community like that changes you and makes you crave that kind of relationship more often. I hope I can take the risk and be part of that for them (and others in our community at Westheights!).
Amen Mimi, I could not agree more!
It’s interesting that you would raise this point! I was thinking the same thing this week. I agree that we are cautious, self-protecting, and isolated by comparison. Partly, we don’t need each other as much as those in less fortunate circumstances, so we don’t reach out in the same way. Plus, well, there’s just too much snow here (kidding).
As for how we can apply this mentality, I think it has to do with taking RISKS, like inviting people over or talking openly about struggles. This week at the Financial Peace session is an example. I felt that John Cressman’s personal examples (which would be under the category of “risk”) laid the groundwork for everyone to share. For me, it felt like real community.
Another way we can apply this more open mentality is to look for MOMENTS OF OPENNESS – times or events where we are real with each other. As an example, we might work alongside someone at the “Christmas Give” event (or Halloween for Hunger or any other time) with an attitude of ISOLATION vs. OPENNESS. We can use the limited time we happen to be together to connect more deeply and honestly ~ to “dive in,” as you say.
Last, I think there is something about WORKING together. It’s a proven fact that group cohesion is built by working toward common goals together. Personally, I really enjoy a project where a group of us are physically working together (like painting the nursery which was fun AND made me feel closer to the other volunteers.)
Thanks for asking, Mimi. You have challenged me to risk, and live this openness a little more.