As I wrestled in a recent confrontation, I could feel the sense of openness and dialogue. While it was encouraging, it did trigger a reflective question; was I equally open. In the moment there was no time to consider and debate within. It was a question in the present that would impact what was unfolding. I intuitively knew my answer; I do not know about the moment that just passed, I can only commit to the one in hand. My answer is yes, no reservations or caveats.
The confrontation began to shift to a dialogue. Each side became a starting point for us to walk towards something greater. Others tried to steer us back towards our original positions. It was as if we knew we were onto something! Without any kind of acknowledgement, we resolved to stay the course. As we did, those advocating the confrontation metaphorically “took one look and shook their heads, they scattered and ran away.” (Psalm 48.5) We had started as a group at war. We ended as two individuals walking together, listening with the intent of learning.
There were three pivots in our conversation I often miss.
First, there was a willingness to change direction based on the insights that emerged in a singular moment. We came in with strong views. One could even describe them as hardened. In a pivotal moment, everything changed.
Second, we shared an openness to pursue an opportunity without the need to address the past. I am sure that there were injustices and issues in the moments we had just experienced that needed more conversation and perhaps corrective actions. With a window at hand, we set these aside to pursue something we valued.
Third, we found someone to travel with that shared our aspirations and dreams. It was fun to explore the possible with someone that had a very different perspective. While it appeared we had different values and priorities, given our shared vision and the willingness to pursue it, we discovered how our values and priorities complemented the other.
Blink moments take courage and others.