Once there was a young girl who loved playing skeet-ball at the local arcade. Sounds like the beginning of a fairy tale, but this is just a story that has played out time and time again. This little girl loved the arcade and an exciting trip to the arcade. On one of these trips, she was vibrating with joy as she asked her dad for some money. Not having anything smaller, dad handed her a twenty-dollar bill with instructions to get change in the amount of two fives and a ten. She shook her head in agreement, thanked him, and off she ran!
It wasn’t long before dad went searching for her, and as you can imagine, found her playing the skeet-ball game. She was having the time of her life and racking up the tickets.
Dad smiled at the joy radiating out of his little girl, but then saw how enthralled she was and wondered where his change had been laid. So he asked, “Hey sweetie, where’s my change? Tell me you didn’t put that twenty-dollar bill in the machine.”
The girl paused after her throw and replied sweetly “No, daddy, I put in two fives and a ten just like you said!”
Just then mom walked up and started laughing and reminded dad that he didn’t tell her to bring the money back!
The problem in this story is amusing and reminds us of an important lesson. Far too often, we are not clear in our expectations or instructions to others. Yet, somehow, we expect them to just know what we intended to say, even though we didn’t say it.
Sometimes it may be trivial, and other times it may end up being much more catastrophic. So I hope you hear me when I say, we all need to be more transparent and direct with the people in our lives. It might be your loved ones that need you to be more straightforward. Tell them how you feel, what you want, need, and expect. It might be your work colleagues who need you to be more transparent, and it might be your brothers and sisters at church. But unfortunately, clarity is a rare commodity in today’s world. It pains me deeply to hear stories of people that preform tests to see if others care rather than talking about their needs. Talk, open up, share your feelings of loneliness, pain, struggles and woe. We want to be there for you, but if no one knows, how can they help?
I think it is also important to remember that our God is clear in what He desires from us. Yes, there are things that the Spirit helps us understand deeper, but God is not the god of confusion and misdirection. There are plenty of people who would like to confuse the issues, but that is not God (1 Cor. 14:33).
Just like our Lord is clear with us, we should also be clear with one another. None of us are mind readers who know what others are feeling, need, or want. We need to ask, and tell. So, let’s commit to that. Verbalize what you need and what you are feeling with those the Lord has placed in our lives.
By: Jeff Arnette (Edited)