Surrounding us, in everything, is potential. Positive potential. Some have the ability to see it naturally, others go forward and right past it. There are so many factors that can cause a disconnect when we could be looking into others and pulling their personality gems to the surface; a jam-packed schedule that never stops, the technology that we consistently allow to suck us in, always seeing the negative before all else, or even our own looming and gigantic personal insecurities (this one is my biggest issue).
There are so many times when I remember a false first impression I have of someone who is now a large part of my life. It’s like those movies that sound like all the rest of them… you know, romantic comedy… guy meets girl, they fall in love, yadda yadda predictable! Anyhow, sometimes one of those hits your soft spot, and it’s more special to you than the rest. When you give it the time, you realize why it stands out from the crowd of other romantic comedies you already know. That’s how I want to see people. Though I can look right at their “cover” and see what I think is who they are, it could be that I’m not the knower of all things… and they have some hidden, beautiful, very extraordinary potential that their Creator put there. Usually, that is the case.
Overall, I’m starting to notice a pretty nice little prideful trend that has cropped up in my life. The things that I really don’t want to do in life, that I immediately write off as “not for me!” are those that I benefit and grow substantially from. The people I really want to avoid, the ones I have no intention of talking to, the ones I don’t see myself becoming open with and sharing life with, they are the ones who have stories that so gracefully overlap with my own. They are the ones that I know are sent my direction for the special purpose of growth: without these encounters, and if life went my “own way” I would never benefit so richly and be able to move to new seasons of life. I would seek out the very predictable, “Miranda” people, who I would pick for myself, wouldn’t enrich me with their diverse and important life stories, and I would be the same person I always have been. A selfish, self-involved, and prideful human being. Thankfully, I know that these little treasures are in my life for a purpose: because my Creator sees the undeveloped potential in me.
So when the roadblocks come up, the signals that I have saying “This person is annoying.. turn around,” or my favorite, “You just don’t have time to talk to that person today!” I try to do the opposite. There is untapped potential in that person, and a lot of common ground or good that can come of an interaction with them. So I will put down the technology, I will make time in the busy schedule, I will fight off a negative initial reaction, and I will quiet the voice screaming, “You’re insecure! This person makes you look bad! They’re way funnier or smarter than you!” And I will develop their potential, celebrate who they are, and invest in their life. You never know how your lives will be connected.