Being present with others is a risk to be known. We desperately want to be known, respected, understood, and ultimately loved. But that process involves a risk that not only the good will be known by someone else but also the bad. It means not living life in the fast lane but slowing down to look someone in the eyes and have a conversation. We all want this but today it is so easy to hide behind screens or move so fast that we can’t be known by someone else. Because if we are known then someone might find out how broken we truly are and know what a mess our life is. The screen allows us to put up that persona that everything is alright. Constantly on the run and never slowing down means that we never have to stop, think, and open up to others because we have something else to do or somewhere else to be.
This is also true in the work place. We can be so caught up in our job completing the next task that we hardly know the people we work with. Conversations sit atop the surface because we have something else to do, some project to work on, or another deadline. I don’t want to be known by them because they may find out I’m a fraud, broken, and not worth caring for. Its not to say that our work relationships have to be at the same deep level as some of our closest friends but it is a challenge to slow down, be present, and talk without distractions.
The idea of slowing down and being present with others is scary, at least for me. Sitting down, talking, and asking the hard questions with no phone for distractions nor rushing to go to the next thing but just being present and listening is hard. Its a risk to be present because in that moment your facade may come crumbling down revealing your true self.
These thoughts were sparked a recent video, Godspeed, where a seminary grad moves to Scotland to work on his PhD but ends up pastoring a local parish and learns what it means to slow down to God’s speed. The state of being present with others and entering into their lives. To not move so fast but to slow down and actually have conversations with people. You can watch the trailer below or the full video here.
[vimeo 150438008 w=640 h=360]
Follow the story of an American pastor whose desire to change the world grinds to a halt in a Scottish parish. Join Eugene Peterson, N. T. Wright, Alan Torrance, and Granny Wallace on a pilgrimage to being known in your own backyard.