Communication is the key to all relationships. It is the ability to express and understand thoughts, feelings, and ideas from one person to another. That, of course, is a bit of an oversimplification, it does not address the who, the why, the when or the how. In this day and age, there are as many ways or channels you can use. It’s not that actually talking to people is old fashioned, but these days you can text, snapchat, message, click, flick, email, glance, slack, stare at, ignore or avoid and each will send a different message.
On top of the way people communicate, there is a host of other factors to think about. How many of those things in the last sentence above did you really know, or did you just read along and got the gist of the sentence? How many times do we think we know what someone is saying, or what they mean and this may not be the same as what you hear? Even the time of day and the mood you are in will color what you are trying to communicate and also in trying to understand what someone else is saying.
All of this makes sense when two people are communicating, in fact, I am sure you have heard most of it before. It is also right between people and organizations, like here at church. Do you know what the primary tool for communications is at St John’s? The answer is in your hands… the Good News Gazette drives more than you know. It is the only communication that reaches ALL of our members. Not everyone has email, or cell phones or social media… but most of us have a mailing address. The significant risk in using any of these is that it relies on the person receiving them to actually read them. In fact, the GNG drives different groups in the church to meet, to share updates, to get feedback; in fact, it holds us accountable. We do need to embrace electronic media as it is the way the next generation communicates but trust me it doesn’t simplify a thing.
With all the things that could wrong, or cause miscommunication, we need to choose to be understanding. It won’t always be clear or understandable. It may not be what we want to hear or what we hear may not be correct. However, without communication and all the various forms and errors that are bound to happen, communication has to happen. Can you imagine what the world would be like if we didn’t communicate?
One more last quick thought on communication… With all the challenges it brings, with all the different ways we use it, with all the mixed messages we want to give or receive, what is it that really matters? When we talk and communicate with our Father we do so with our hearts, and He will always understand… the important thing is that we pray to Him.