A friend described the way to begin a new friendship in simple terms. “If I want to make a new friend one of the first things that I do is to ask for help, something or anything that puts me in their debt. Once I am in that place, especially when I clearly acknowledge how precious the act of kindness was and is, I am in the position to serve. Serving is the heart of friendship and growth.”
Some find it embarrassing to ask questions. In my mind it is a sign of engagement and a leading growth indicator. If we are going to reach for the impossible then the foundation of every achievement are the questions that we ask.
For many, service is not natural. It is as if we have been so exploited that we are no longer sure of whom we are. We know that unless we take care of things nobody else will! For many, asking questions is not what we want to do. The process exposes our weaknesses, making us vulnerable to others’ criticisms. It is as if we resist and avoid the very things that give us the opportunity to be part of a community.
I am in the process of trying to pull together a group of people to form a new team. I know everything is confusing. It is clear that the new “disciples were puzzled.” (John 4.33) The uncertainty is how they will approach the unknowns. Far too often history records lost opportunities. Most of the time it seems we learn from experience which is simple shorthand for saying we missed an opportunity. The most painful this experience was the more likely the lessons learned will have embedded themselves into our values and priorities. The blunt fact is that when you combine service and questions in equal measure you have the core elements of what makes a group of people coming together as a successful team. I know that but it isn’t up to me!
Community is. Teams are. How committed to service and questions are we?