“How are you?”
“Are you okay?”
These questions have become routine. The cashier today at McDonald’s asked me “would you like fries with that?” The difference between her and most of us is that she actually wanted an honest, truthful answer. (I of course told her yes.)
Part of my routine on phone calls at work is to ask my customers “how are you doing today?” Truth be told, 90% of the time I don’t care what their response is. It’s just part of the script. I say it, I get a check mark. I don’t ask, I could could be out my bonus. On the flip side, 90% of the time the customer’s answer is going to be a surface level “good” or “fine.” I don’t really expect more; they called me to discuss their finances, not for a counseling session.
Some times I feel like screaming “SLOW DOWN.” Some would call me emotional or say it’s because I’m built odd and crave relational, touchy feelyness. I go though the check out line at grocery store instead of using the Self Checkout just so I can thank the cashier by name. I know he just graduated from USC, got drunk at his gradution party and puked all over his neighbors doorstep. At Starbucks I know the name of my Barista and can tell you he just started dating a great guy. He’s the happiest I’ve seen him in over a year.
Does it make me better because I know these things? No. (Some might consider me a freak.) But seriously, I think we all need to be reminded to slow down, take time to listen, and not move at such a hurried pace. The truth is that if we’re so busy with work, ourselves, or even ministry to take time and listen, than something needs to change. Chances are, if we can’t find time for people, our serving Him has replaced (or at least severely lessened) us being with Him.
What are your thoughts?