Words of Worth

Fast and Furious

March 4, 2011

I have a tried and true motto when it comes to food: “If I didn’t have to cook it or clean it up, it tastes good to me.”
Nothing brings as much joy as eating food for which I did not have to forage, pluck, start, or stoke a fire. Food just tastes better when someone else makes it. Not much can beat being ravenously hungry and then having food quickly appear that is tasty (a bonus!) and made by someone else. So it won’t surprise you that I heartily toast the invention of the drive thru window. It provides fast food that I didn’t have to make or even exit my car to receive!
However, just as quickly as the drive-thru joy mercury can rise to the highest level, it can furiously plummet to the low level of the hunger pang deep within my belly. How is it that fast food employees are able to quickly serve customers without really paying attention to those of us sitting “out there” in drive thru land?

Imagine my experience a few weeks ago:

Employee: “Welcome to ___ How may I help you?”
Me: “Hi. May I please have combo meal # 1 without tomato?”
Employee: “Would you like tomato on your sandwich?
Me: “No, thank you, but I would like American ch….?”
Employee: “Would you like cheese on that?”
Me: “Yes, I would like American cheese.”
Employee: “What kind of cheese and what would you like to drink?”
Me: “American cheese and a SMALL Dr. Pepper, please.”
Employee: “We don’t have pepper jack cheese and would you like to supersize that drink?”
Me to myself: Sigh!

On and on that exchange could go and quickly my joy is diminished, as is my hunger, because now the only pang I feel is frustration. The drive thru window hope of a quick, satisfying meal has now closed. Is it asking too much of all the keepers of the drive thru windows to pay attention for one minute to the customer at the window? Is it asking too much in all of life, to be regarded by others? And others are asking the same of us—“Is it asking too much of you to just listen to me?”
Even though the drive thru window example could be humorous, it’s not so funny to answer someone before you really take time to hear what he or she is trying to say to you. How quick we may be to interrupt, or give advice, or even move on in the conversation!

Proverbs 18:13 reminds us,
“He who gives an answer before he hears, it is a folly and a shame to him.”

Evaluate your conversations this week and see if you are really listening. (SV)

In other words: Read 1 Thessalonians 5:11-22 and make a list of how to encourage other this week with or without using words.

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