Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lenten Daily Dose - 5th Tuesday

For all the introverts reading out there!

I once heard a story that I am not sure is true or not.  Yet, it was a story about being an introvert that spoke to me.  

Before Coke a Cola was found in the supermarkets the executive team was looking for a way to gain market-share.  They enlisted the help of a noted and accomplished consultant.  The consultant came to a few board meetings to understand the problem to be solved.  After that he was no where to be found.  The only trace of him were the request for reimbursement expenses send in from around the world.  After a long time he suddenly reappeared at a board meeting.   The board was fully expecting and anticipating a full blown report.  This man walked in and said two words and walked out.  This changed the course of Coke a Cola.  What did he say?  He said: "bottle it!"  

You see up until then all soda was sold out of the soda fountain the local dime store.  Bottling it allowed it to be sold just about anywhere.  

I am struck by this story because it shows me the power of solitude contributing to a greater good.  This man was a part of the community for a short time and discovered his most profound answers only through his time alone.  Christ did a similar thing when he often traveled to the desert.  It seems that he needed time away to have an effective time in community.  

Relating to this story was easy for me.  I see myself as an introvert.  It is not that I don't like being in a community or a crowd.  I do enjoy it.  Yet much of my energy comes from being quiet and by myself.  Then, almost out of nowhere, I get an urge to share that energy with those around me.  Only then the magic begins to happen.  The community feeds me and I feed the community.  

The flip side is that sometimes I am with a community and suddenly realize that I am struggling to give or receive any energy.  My tank is empty and my only desire is to find solitude.   For years I did not honor this calling.  I did not listen to my inner being and seek the solitude it was crying out for.  I would paste on a smile and pretend to be fitting in.  Yet the only thing I was doing was cheating myself.  My tank called spirituality was empty and needed re-filling.  

Re-filling for me means solitude or quiet.  

Now I have learned to start honoring my calls to be quiet.  Now I know that this is the time that God wants to be with me.  It is the time that God wants to pass to me the love and wisdom he so desires to show the world.    I have also learned that there are others just like me who will join me in community to share the love and wisdom that God has shown them.  I become a better man by embracing what these people have to show me.  The more I embrace my quiet the more rich my community experience is becoming.  

As this relationship of introvert and community is unfolding in my life , it only serves to remind me of the true power of my God who loves me.  


Steve Arendt

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