After this (Jesus) appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. Luke 10:1
I remember feeling like I just wanted some time alone. To walk and hike in the quiet of the woods listening to my own thoughts and pondering the uncertainties of my present life transition. God had another plan in mind. As I was preparing to leave I crossed paths, literally, with another gentleman who was headed down the same trail I was. He wasn’t a stranger, but he was a recent acquaintance and to be honest I didn’t feel in the mood to “make a new friend”. But I embraced the opportunity to have some company, even if it was just for a short distance, knowing I could always break off on my own if I chose.
As the journey began, the conversation started slowly. What do you do? Where do you live? Where are you from? Do you have a family? What are they like? Without even trying too hard or being intentionally “engaging”…a friendship was beginning. After two hours of huffing and puffing, climbing and sliding, a reluctant relationship turned into a genuine friendship. Conversation changed to – what are your challenges right now? How do you balance your time for wife, kids and self? What brings you joy?
It’s amazing what walking together does to a person.
When was the last time you opened yourself up, quite possibly even reluctantly, to an unpredictable relationship? How do you handle interruptions to your plans, schedule or routine that at first glance and assessment make you feel like saying NO? Think of a time that your life was “rudely” interrupted in a way that changed you forever for the good! Did it involve an encounter with another person? Whether you are a borderline introvert, like myself, or a withdrawn introvert or a full-fledged extrovert, like my wife, it’s impossible to live in a bubble. We were made for relationship and made to walk with others on this path of life.
It’s not an accident that Jesus, as he prepared to begin his trek throughout Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, called his followers together and sent them out ahead of him in pairs. He wanted the experiences to be shared together, the stories to be told together and bonding to link his followers together in such a way that their love for each other would transcend persecution, separation, challenges, difficulties and even death.
Who are you walking together with in life? Who do you choose to encourage and be encouraged by? What “random” God-interruptions are you prepared to open up to today – and watch what Jesus does in those moments!