Relational Living

What is next on your agenda for the day?

Did it take you less than 10 seconds to answer that question?

I am a task oriented person- always ready to rattle off the scheduled business that fills every moment of my life. However, I do not believe that this is how God intended for us to live. When God created man, He gave him a task- “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28). God gave Adam something to accomplish. But God did not stop there. He said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:18). In addition to community with our Heavenly Father, God created human community. We are not meant to live alone, yet we so often hustle from one task to another so quickly that we miss out on relationships.

On Tuesday, a few of us were picking up trash along the side of a major road- accomplishing the task set before us. I was caught off guard when I heard “hello” in English and looked up to see a man walking toward me with a smile on his face. This marked the beginning of my friendship with Dieguito. He is a businessman who attends work meetings and runs errands just like the rest of us. But he also does so much more. His initial intention in the moment was to thank us for picking up garbage, but the conversation ended up lasting almost an hour on the side of the loud, busy highway before continuing in a park and a coffee shop.

I never asked, but the folder full of papers in his hand led me to believe that he planned to do some sort of business that day. Had it been me, I would have ended the conversation as quickly as possible to get back to my task, but Dieguito spent an entire day with us. As we discussed our stories, struggles, and dreams for the future, one of my friends shared that she planned to be baptized the following Sunday. He could have simply congratulated her and smiled, but Dieguito used the opportunity to build a relationship and encourage us. He asked insightful questions such as “Why are you being baptized?” and “How will your life be different afterward?”

Before I knew it, the day was gone and Dieguito had never reached his destination that his work task required. Over the next week, he made room is his busy schedule to meet with us, and he continues to teach me what it looks like to show the love of Jesus with my time and relationships.

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