Nothing for me has been more fecund of ideas or joy than merely sitting down with someone I trust to discuss ideas we both care about.
Are you looking for ideas? Maybe it’s time to have a talk with a friend who shares your passions.
Even so, how hard it can be to pick up the phone to call someone who once blessed us with their conversation. It’s just so much easier to continue moving in the direction we were going, than it is to pause and reflect with a friend.
Ironically perhaps, such conversations are particularly fertile when participants come at an idea from different points of view. If we can listen to each other, and put aside our need to be right, then the conversation will begin to weave a beautiful dialectic of thesis, antithesis, and finally if we are patient, will at last give birth to synthesis; a new idea right before our eyes, unlooked for, surprising us all.
Too few times I’ve made notes from such conversations. Boswell’s Life of Johnson was little more than a collection of such notes. We accumulate possessions that clutter our lives with bother without collecting the true treasures that fall in our way. We find a precious gem over coffee with a friend, and then lightly cast it aside when we’re done.
But I am learning. God has been teaching me the true value of things, ideas, and people; and I have been listening. The kingdom of heaven dwells within you, and between you.