Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Don't just ask... listen.

I remember when I was in highschool and would spend a ton of time at church. It was one of the only places that made sense to me. I did not go because wanted to get closer to God, but because there were peeps there who cared about me. Kevin was one of those guys. He would come to all of my sporting events, got coffee or lunch or whatever I wanted to do, all of the time. He would call me to roll with him to go do errands or see others in the youth group or church. He did this to spend time investing in me. I never really gave it a thought; I just thought it was cool to chill with him.

We had tons of conversations, mostly about nothing in particular. But I distinctly remember asking him for advice all of the time on everything from girls to God – yeah, worlds apart... but not really, I guess. I'm telling you, I think I can remember maybe two times that he gave me straight answers to my questions. He would never tell me what to do. He never gave me advice in the form of any kind of answer for that matter. What he would do was give me options. I would get done talking for like thirty minutes, telling him every part of my dilemma in like four hundred different ways. Then, I would say something to the effect of, “I don't know, Kev... what do you think?” Silence.

He would just look straight ahead as we drove down the road. I knew he was thinking. And you gotta understand, Kev knew me pretty well. I had spent tons of time with him – at church, extra curricular stuff, his family – and he knew what was going on in that little brain of mine. He knew what I needed to do. He was really good at discerning stuff in my life and those who he knew, both very well and not at all. But still, not answer. He would eventually say something like, “Well, MO, the way I see it you have three options...” He would then proceed to give me those options and then ask me what I thought I should do.

Wait a minute... the reason I was asking in the first place was to get an answer. Kev was supposed to make my life easier by telling me what to do. But, of course in my lack of wisdom, that is not what I needed. Kev knew that I needed to process this stuff on my own. He knew that I already knew what I needed to do. If he would have told me what to do, I would bet I would not do it like nine times out of ten. But, because he made me think about it, and verbalize it myself, I ended up doing the right thing more often than not. And if I did choose the wrong option, one that was detrimental to me in some way or another, I was more aware of it.

Still to this day Kev does not give me that many answers. He makes me think and make decisions based on the information I have. I know a little better now how to process stuff. But I guess the question is whether or not you have one or more peeps in your life who help you through this process. If you do not, I would bet you make more mistakes than if you did have them. I know you may know yourself better than anyone ever could, and that you are too abstract to be understood. And you know what, you are probably right. And if this is true then I would suggest get someone – preferably a full team.

Since my time with with Kev back in the high school group I have added new members to my inner circle. These peeps are the ones who give me options. They know what I need and when I need it. They all have good information. Each of them knows some of who I am, but none of them know all of who I am. That's just the way I do it. You may have one person who knows all of who you are... just make sure that person knows you to the core.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome thoughts. It's interesting to think that he pushed you in the right direction without ever actually putting his hands on you. Just giving you the option of which road meant what....hmmm