After six weeks of travel, I am spending a week in Singapore. Compared to the marathon, I have already equaled the number of days this week I have gone to bed with my pillow. It may not sound like much, but there is something familiar and comforting with pillow that I call my own. The sense of standing on familiar ground has triggered an extended period of reflection.
The lesson of this trip is that whatever I might think, others will see it differently. Traditionally, I think of the different perspectives as either or. One of us will have a better view. The solution to our varying views lies in collaboration. The trip highlighted that there is an alternative way of approaching the situation.
The trigger came when three points collided. As I wrestled with how to respond to the ways each site approached the opportunities in their own way, I found myself walking along the harbor in Wellington New Zealand. The wind was blowing as it often does. As I looked at the berthed sailboats, I found myself remember an old story. A group was attempting to travel by sailboat. A writer captured their efforts. “Out to sea again, we sailed north under the protection of the northeast shore of Cyprus because winds out of the west were against us, and then along the coast westward to the port of Myra.” (Acts 27.4, 5)
The three points began a dance in my reflection.
What if our perspectives were shaped by the winds in our lives? Every sailor has to deal with the situation s/he is in. There is no alternative. We may have the same goals and priorities, however getting there may take us along very different paths.
In context of time and place, what is our relationship? If we share the same values and priorities, then helping each other achieve our mutual goal should be a natural. It can be, if we realize where the other is. They must sail their course, as we must ours, if we are to reach our shared destination.