Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Communication Breakdown

Every once in while, I think I should write a post that makes it look like I am spiritual and love Jesus and stuff. We'll see if this qualifies.

This is a 5 part series with a close look at many of the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts of the Bible. No, actually it's just something I thought of on the way to work.

Communication is one of the most important things that separates us from the beasts. Businesses could not exist like they do without communication and relationships regularly die when it is poor or lacking altogether. And long distance communication is just as important as up close and personal. Fortunately, as critical as communication is, we have long since mastered doing it half-assed.

The very first instance of long distance communication was probably a one syllable cuss word scraped on a rock and hucked at someones head. Then it moved up to much more nuanced profanities on arrows, spears, etc. Shortly after this the Indians invented smoke signals and communication briefly stopped altogether, as nobody can read smoke, obviously. This was the "dark ages". (I am a history buff)

Then we invented paper and pen and everything changed. Then, getting a letter even once a year delivered by some random guy on a horse was a huge deal. Like, "bigger than Christmas" huge (although Christmas gifts did suck more in old times).
Then everything sort of exploded more and more rapidly over the last 100 years, like bam bam bam. Telegraph, radio, telephone, cell phones, email, instant messaging, and then ultimately texting. Then it went backwards a tiny bit with Facebook, but not too bad.

I got to wondering what our average conversations with God would be most analogous to?
A rushed voice-mail? A garbled, blurted out shout while sprinting past? Or maybe a poorly scrawled Post-It note quickly slapped into one of His nail scarred hands? OK, I went too far with that one.

My favorite scripture is in Matthew 22:37-40, where it tells us the greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and the second greatest is to love our neighbor as ourselves. And that upon these two commandments hang ALL the law and prophets.
So essentially, nothing is more important for us to do than love God and other people. Pretty complicated religion, huh?
And as nothing is more important than our relationship with God and others, nothing is more important for nurturing them than communication.

Here is a fun test to try at home: only communicate with your spouse for a week or two with hastily scribbled Post-It notes. If you are single, try it with your boss at work. In the end, you will both get a huge chuckle out of it. Or fired or something.

How we talk to others defines and determines our relationships with them. So it never ceases to amaze me when I witness married couples speaking to each other with any less respect or kindness than they would afford a friend or even complete stranger. I don't care how "many years you've been married", why would you do that?
And if marriages are hurt by poor communication, how do you think it affects our most important relationship of all?

There are certainly a lot of different praying "styles". I have heard some people sound like they're rapping with a surfing buddy and others sound like they're nervously talking to a head of state from a foreign country we are on poor terms with.

Some people like to actually write their prayers out in a journal, just like letters, to focus better and not forget anything. It's not a bad idea, really. I have never done it myself, but I know a couple rambling, incoherent people at church that I would like to try it.

The next time you pray, stop for just a second to pay attention to not just how much time you set aside for it or what you pray, but how you pray it. How does it come across? How would it come across if you spoke to others that way?

Can you and do you speak with God for who He is, among other things a King, Father and friend? Do you pray with reverence, respect, boldness and love?


  1. That is a very good question that really got me thinking ! You have an amazing way with should definatly write more !