Interpersonal Communication Assignment

In Uncategorized on September 17, 2008 at 12:58 am

Hello again! It has been a while since I last posted; school is still getting going (at least in my head) so I have been focusing on school work. I thought I would post a reading response from my Interpersonal Communication course. Enjoy!

When reading Leading from Within, a certain passage really grabbed my attention. I wasn’t sure to make of it, and, doing what I normally do, I compared it to my Christian upbringing to evaluate the merits of the argument. Palmer, referencing Annie Dillard’s Teaching a Stone to Talk, brings up the value of “rid[ing] these monsters down,” or, in other words, identifying and confronting one’s own personal issues, many of which are unseen by ourselves but apparent to others. The value in this is very obvious to me, with one small caveat: you can’t go it alone. It is a brave thing to do to battle your personal demons, but very dangerous to do unaccompanied. To me, Jesus Christ should be accompanying us in everything we do, especially something as dangerous as journeying “inward and downward.” To best do this, though, I believe we must set our eyes on the heaven, on Christ; “outward and upward.”

As a Christian, everything we do must be focused on Christ, for even if we decided to test ourselves and go it alone, even for a noble cause, it is distracting us from what is truly important, our ever growing personal relationship with Christ. Also, should we find victory in (seemingly) unassisted battle, we may pride ourselves on our own accomplishment. Our own, not ours with Christ. The danger of growing, it seems.

Another thought provoking passage was one which described how people place their identity in what they do, rather than who they are. I found this to be true as recently as this summer: I had no school work, not much volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, and only a summer job; I felt useless. Combine that with staying up to (over) the late hours of the night – or early hours of the morning, depending on how you look at it – and sleeping in, my days felt… empty. I don’t like that. Empty is not a good feeling. I was looking forward to school again because I knew that it would force me to do something again, to be something again. I know that what I do doesn’t change who I am; at least initially. But doing nothing for long periods of time can make you feel like nothing. Nothing begets no one, it seems.

Now, my case of nothingness wasn’t severe in any sense of the word, but I could tell that my mood and demeanor had changed slightly; perhaps more than I know, or am willing to let myself perceive. Now I am back in school and already feeling accomplished. It is a good thing to have a purpose, but it is not the only thing, I think. It is important, but not the end all and be all of human existence, mainly because we could be serving God’s Purpose without ever realizing it; being depressed at our state, when, in reality, we are doing exactly what we should be doing. Look for opportunities, but do not be upset when they don’t readily present themselves; perhaps you are exactly where you should be.

  1. For an excellent book on improving relationships and sharing the love of Christ with others by becoming a reflective listener, check out PLEASE LISTEN TO ME! A CHRISTIAN’S GUIDE TO REFLECTIVE LISTENING by author Dick Fetzer. It’s a practical resource for those who are truly interested in learning how to listen and communicate more effectively. A must-read for Christians who seriously desire to help others! Check it out at any online bookstore or go directly to the publisher’s website at http://www.WinePressBooks.com

  2. Very in depth thoughts Jaryd and very well written. I think your last statement about not being disappointed if things don’t go the way you hope, that maybe that is where God wants you to be is very accurate. God doesn’t expect us to be successful, he just expects us to be available.

  3. Jaryd you are such an amazing writer. It’s truly a gift God has given you. You always make me think.

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