Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Shelves Full of People

I've read a lot of books in my life. I've learned something from them all, even the ones I found boring, tedious and poorly written. I've kept only a small number of the books I've read. I have limited space, so I put a lot of thought into which books I'll keep, and which ones I'll donate. I always keep a good number of humor books, for times when I just need a good laugh. I also keep some practical theology books for times when I need to get grounded. There are other books, too, for other occasions. In much the same way, I've met a lot of people in my life. Every person I've met has taught me something, even the people I found annoying and rude. Many of the people I've met at parties and such were only brief friendships that lasted only for the evening. They were fun for those few hours, and we may have enjoyed each others' company immensely, but we live in different areas and have our own established groups of friends. A few of the people I've met still play an important role in my life. Some know how to make me laugh, and how to cheer me up when I'm down. Some excel at bringing me back to earth when my mind is in the clouds. It takes a village, a village made of all kinds of personalities.

Everyone who enjoys writing needs to read a wide variety of books, and needs to explore many genres. This is how you learn what style you are. You emulate the writers you like, and you learn from the others. Likewise, everyone who enjoys people needs to meet a wide variety of people. This is how you learn who you are. You see in others what you find admirable and noble and emulate those traits, and you also see unpleasant and repulsive characteristics, and you do your best to keep those negative characteristics out of your own personality.

I've often read about filling your life with the type of people you need. I want to stress here the importance of considering what you can offer to others. Are you good at cheering people up when they're down? Are you down-to-earth and able to help bring balance into your friends' lives? In thinking about who and what we need in our lives, we must also consider what we can do for others. Let us who are Christians be transformed in our thinking, not focusing on ourselves and our needs, but looking to the needs and interests of others. "Let us make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification." Romans 14:19.

No comments: