It's funny. I always thought that by the time I reached the age and stage of life I now am that I would have things figured out. Or that I would at least have myself figured out. Not so! I'm still learning so much about God, about the world around me, and even about how I am wired.
Last night I finally realized something. Sometimes what seems like fun for Paul seems like work for me. No wonder we don't understand each other sometimes! Yesterday Paul casually mentioned the possibility of eating out with a family he's trying to get more connected to Jesus and to The City Church. To him, this sounded like something easy and fun. But to me it is work.
Having dinner with some established friends would be fun, and I would be up for that on the spur of the moment almost any time. But meeting with people I don't know, particularly people with whom I seem to have little in common (at least on the surface) is hard for me. I want them to have a good impression of me, of our church, of Jesus, so I spend way more time than I should worrying about what to say, how to say it, whether they like me, etc.
That's not really a good quality. But it is where I'm at right now. Now that I've identified this, maybe I can seek God's healing for my insecurity in this area. But I think that I am always going to have to work harder at initiating conversations and meeting new people than Paul does. Barring a supernatural change from God, I'm never going to get to know people as easily as Paul does. It's always going to be at least a little more work for me.
I don't know that either of us has made that connection before. I think it's the opposite of shopping. Shopping is fun for me but is work for Paul, even when he's shopping for himself with a gift card from someone else. (That is so much fun for me!) And just like he doesn't always want to go on a spur-of-the moment shopping trip after a long week of work, I don't look forward to the surprise of more work at the end of my week. That doesn't mean I shouldn't do it. Some of the best things in life are hard work! And Paul has been very gracious about going shopping with me even when he's tired.
I pray that God would make getting to know people more fun than work for me, and that He would help Paul understand that any initial hesitation on my part isn't just stubbornness or uncaring, but is often just tiredness!