DCC News

 

Weekly e-newsletter for members and friends of the Dublin Community Church

 

July 25, 2008

                                                           

More than Words

Last Friday I drove to Lima with my four kids for a family gathering.  As I was driving up route 33, I was listening to a CD on the car CD player.  My 17 year old, who was in the front passenger seat, preferred his own music, so he was wearing earphones and listening to his iPod.  I glanced in the rearview mirror, and my 15 year old was engrossed in playing his “DS” (a handheld video game) in the back seat.  My 10 and 8 year olds were each wearing headphones, watching a movie on our built-in DVD player.

We were like a commercial for “technology”.  Not a word was being spoken between the five of us.

OK, I don’t want to be too hard on myself and my family.  I think we are pretty typical.  It’s not as if we NEVER talk to each other. And there is definitely something to be said for the tranquility of five people happily doing their own thing on an hour and a half road trip.

But when I think about my favorite times as a family, my first thoughts are always of those times when we are engaged in lively conversation with each other.  Often those times begin with, “Remember when…”, and continue with a story about something funny one of us did, and we all laugh, and that leads to more stories.  My kids love hearing about silly things they did when they were younger.  And as they get older, they have become more and more interested in hearing about things my husband, Mike, and I have done. They enjoy sharing thoughts and ideas, and I think one of the most important things I can do as a parent is to listen.

We connect when we talk with each other.  We get to know each other better.  We offer support to each other and we bond in a major way.  We are able to share even the most mundane details about our day, and know that someone cares enough to listen.  And sometimes, we are completely comfortable saying absolutely nothing at all.

 

Last week I attended a three day program at a place called Midwest Ministry Development.  The program was a requirement for my Licensed Ministry Training.  I was with five of my classmates from school and we were each given a series of personality and psychological tests.  The program was very valuable in that it helped each of us discern our own specific gifts for ministry.  But the very best part of the three days was actually something I hadn’t even anticipated. 

Since beginning the Licensed Ministry Program a year ago, my classmates and I have been on a very fast track.  Our class time together is spent covering as much information as possible so that we are given the “book” knowledge necessary for ministry.  What we have NOT had the chance to do, however, is get to know each other well. All of that changed last week during our three days together at Midwest.  We were given the opportunity to really talk and share with each other.  We laughed together and cried together and all six of us agreed that being given the chance to bond with each other was the most valuable part of the whole experience.

As I embark on two more years of Licensed Ministry Training, I am really looking forward to the time I will spend with my classmates.  We will undoubtedly learn a lot. But perhaps more importantly, we will connect with each other on a deeper level because of the relationships we formed by talking and sharing with one another.  We now trust each other and support each other. And it will be perfectly OK if sometimes we say absolutely nothing at all.

Shalom, Lisa Bowersock