A life lived in the country can be somewhat a lonely existence. Some are blessed with folks stopping in for coffee and enjoy a few minutes together on a regular basis or have access to the ‘outside world’ due to an off-the-farm job or otherwise however; a rural life can still be a solitary life. I’m thankful I wasn’t born in the earlier days of my ancestors. Spending weeks and probably sometimes months on end seeing only the family throughout the winter would be enough to make a person batty. I realize I am a ‘people person’ and like to be among others; thankfully, since I have children, there is generally a reason to ‘get out’ at least once a week or more. Understandably, those who are extroverts to some extent are eager to get off the farm but I do feel strongly that even those who are introverts need to be around others from time to time.
We can get stuck in a rut if we aren’t exposed to other people and their way of doing things. I am reminded of the proverb suggesting that we need each other to ‘sharpen up.’ “You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another.” In our ever-decreasing communities, the challenge is to stay connected with those around us. We actually need each other to push us, to challenge us and to encourage us. I like to think of it as positive peer pressure.
My parents actually picked up and moved from one community to another in order to give more opportunities for the family. Mom, who has admitted to growing up a little backwards, learned to watch and observe as well as ask for help and advice as she developed relationships with the ladies in the new community. She learned about fashion, how to do her makeup, decorate and so much more. She was a willing learner and allowed others to speak into her life. The lessons she learned were pivotal to her becoming a better-rounded person.
I am grateful for all those who have ‘sharpened’ my life. Seeing how others live and go about their days gives me ideas and inspiration of how to improve or adapt my life. I have acquired a great list of recipes, knowledge of gardening and a greater understanding of business by allowing others to teach me and speak in to my life. Make an effort to connect with others and be open to be challenged and stretched. Don’t make the mistake of getting stuck in a rut of doing things the same old way. Your life will be so much fuller and richer by allowing others to influence your life!
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Scripture reference: Proverbs 27:17, Hebrews 10:24,25