I met this guy the other day. He is the brother of a friend of mine and I love when I have the opportunity to talk to someone who is genuinely interested in my life rather than what I may or may not have in my pocket.
I’ve just come through a bit of a difficult week in interactions with the opposite sex. Let’s just say I ran into a lot of vulgarity last week on top of having to re-evaluate some friendships and deal with the always awkward, “we are just friends and nothing more” conversation. But God is faithful and gave me the grace I needed even when I was VERY close to throwing rocks at one not-so-gentle-man on the street.
That week aside, this conversation I was having with my friend’s brother reminded me of so many things that I love about this place; mostly the general importance of relationship over hustle and how the pace of life is just much slower than I’m used to.
But even though
is a busy city there are still many ‘African Community’ undertones. It’s not
uncommon to be running 2 hours late because you stayed for a chat at one of
your errands or met someone in town that you hadn’t planned on seeing and were
invited for tea. Most people here don’t brush off those encounters, they
respect them. Nairobi
So, though I know this guy was only around the neighborhood to drop off a bag of sugar to his brother’s shop because of the sugar shortage, he sat and talked to me for about half an hour about family, school, business and aspirations. I love that about this place! There are no thick bubbles. Everyone knows everyone because they make time. They make time to sit and chat and learn about each other. They make time for caring about people, even if it means being late or losing a few hours of business.
We all know busyness gets in the way. We pack so many things into our day that we can barely accomplish everything on the list let alone make time for anyone else. And the area of life that Christians, like me, let that creep into way too often is in our relationship with Christ.
I’m not perfect; I can admit that I get way too busy to spend time with God…. a lot. But this slower paced life makes it harder to ignore my best friend. Because when I remember that tasks are just tasks and relationships are important, not only is that the purpose of the cross, but it changes my day to be relationship driven, not list driven.
And it seems like the more time I spend with God the more I grasp this ashamedly alien notion: I’m not alive to accomplish lists, I’m alive to share what God has given me… life, freedom, forgiveness, love. And it’s only when I spend time with the giver of these things that I can freely give them.
So in this slower paced life I strive to do that daily. But not just here, it’s not about my location or the society that surrounds me. It’s about what’s under my skin and the pace of my heart that makes the difference.