I say, you hear…

Currently, my school studies center on communication within organizations. This is especially intriguing to me in the context of large/small scale communication within the church (anything from to one-on-one conversations, to addressing large groups.)

One of the most common means of communication within the church is the speech/teaching. It consists largely of “Information Transfer:” I talk (download), you listen, (upload). Information transferred & accurately communicated. Done.

Except not.

Stuff gets in the way, that keeps us from ‘getting’ it.

Stuff like INFORMATION OVERLOAD – at some point, there’s just too much information & the brain says “No más.” Which is unfortunate, especially if the speech goes on for another 15 minutes.

Stuff like NOISE – maybe its actual physical noise that distorts & distracts, like a baby crying or people talking; it might be internal noise caused by stopping “full listening” in order to think on something that was said; or it could be external noise that comes from the surrounding environment. Regardless, the end result is the person/individual stops processing.

Stuff like AMBIGUITY – words mean things, & often, the same word can have vastly different meanings depending on the person hearing it. For example, I could say, “We are wanting to bring more structure to our church.” You might hear, “Structure? You mean everyone gets put into a cookie cutter? No thanks.” What was intended by the word “structure” was a trying to create a more effective & efficient way to help connect people to/within the church body, to coordinate our efforts in mission & purpose, & to accurately & quickly get vital information to those that need to hear it.

Big difference.

I know what I’m saying, but I don’t know what you’re hearing. Anything that you hear that remotely resembles what I said, is a miracle – Jerry Cook

a perspective shift…

Today, I had to go to DMV to register the New Ex, acquired last week to replace the Old Ex, which had been totaled the weekend of 2/28. Now, going to DMV is not my idea of a good time, & the closing of the DMV Express has only served to make my reticence increase. However, today was as good of a day as I would get to go – not much on the calendar, & for all intents & purposes, a slow day in the life of scoey d.

Got my SMOG certification. Double checked to make sure the title was signed in all the right places. Gathered the VIN inspection paperwork. Got a copy of the “proof of insurance.” Took a deep breath & headed over to the DMV.

Seems like no matter how long its been between visits, DMV never changes. How many other places in life do you have to wait in line to get the opportunity to wait in line yet AGAIN to have your vehicular issues addressed? But I digress.

The line was long. Really long. Like for Indiana Jones @ Disneyland in the heart of the summer. People to my left & right decided it wasn’t worth the wait. But, I, resigned to the fact that this was My Day to register the New Ex, stepped boldly into the line. My special brain helped me count that there were only 77 people in front of me.


While I stood in line, I determined not to complain or grumble. I’d like to say it was because I am Such a Good & Mature Individual, but in reality, I was merely responding to the grumpy, frustrated, angry individuals around me; those that took the opportunity, time & time again, to voice their displeasure at having to wait. At bureaucracies in general & in specific. At the injustice of waking up to snow again, this far into Spring. & the list went on.

I spent 1 hour 15 minutes in that line. And when I finally arrived at the Info Desk, I hurriedly & prayerfully submitted all of my carefully prepared paperwork, hoping beyond hope that I had done all that was necessary to register the New Ex. My clerk was not easy to read. Her brow furrowed with concern. My mind & heart raced. She called in backup to review my documents. Again. And…

I was given a number. G485. Booyah! Now to wait for my turn.

Turns out, the next number called was G440. Meaning I was only 45 numbers (or so,) away from getting Dealt With by the DMV. Fortunately, I brought my books to study & multitask – prepping for next Sunday’s speech.

Only took another hour to get my number called. Have to say that after 2 hours, 15 minutes of waiting, I wasn’t in the best of moods, but I was ok. Ready to go back to work. And a bit exultant & giddy at finally Getting to the window.

And yet I was blown away by the tech that helped me.

She was absolutely exuding contentedness. She had a grin on her face that didn’t fit the circumstances surrounding us. I asked her how she was doing, how her day was.

She absolutely gushed:

I’m having a WONDERFUL day. It’s so beautiful. And I am so happy. I love that I have a job. I feel so fortunate to be able to do something that I enjoy, to help people. Life is SO good!

I was taken aback by my encounter; not expecting such a response, especially in the dreariness, rush, & general irritated atmosphere of the DMV. And yet…

I was touched. Reminded. Joy isn’t circumstantial. Sometimes what is necessary is a shift in perspective, to look at life through a different set of glasses. With hope.

Thanks Kathy.