It is interesting how so many conversations precisely follow a familiar script. There are several highlights that define the order, each fitting into a sequence that is as old as the hills. They start out with a familiar introduction; I am an expert (whatever in their background or function that s/he thinks will be exciting for you, the newbie on the team, to hear. This is followed closely by an offer to collaborate and work as a team. While the words vary, the themes of you need me and I am here for you are recurring.
The story line never ends there. Depending on one’s background and the context, the next point in the storyline will be a lament. Sometimes it is a short conversation. Driven depth and intensity, this part of the story can be measured in second or defined in hours. As I replay conversations across the years in my mind, the lament boils down to an echo of words written by a man centuries ago; “Lord, my longings are sitting in plain sight, my groans an old story to you.” (Psalm 38.9)
The story divides at this point into one of two ways to finish. One option places the lament squarely with the listener. S/he is the target recipient, the one expected to hear, take on, and resolve the lament. The other comes in the form of ideas and opportunity. The problem rests where it is, the conversation moves to one of exploring, sensing, and aspiration to see Hope alive.
Even as I remember and react to the familiar script, I find myself wondering about the conversation where I am the one talking to the leader. Am I following a pattern set by my forefathers? Do I lament and push my problems on others? Will I avoid the opportunity to make a difference?
Whatever yesterday’s answer was today is a fresh opportunity to choose. Will I take the left fork or the right? Will I look for answers with a willingness to make a difference?
I hope I take freedom and do something.