This year I really wanted to be present (as some of my more contemplative friends would say), rather than running around all over the place not having a proper visit with any one person. I was determined this year to really catch up with people and listen well (as well as possible with the loud din of 30 some odd people chattering in the background). So we stripped down all the prep work and bought mostly ready-to-serve foods. But the deeper issue in “being present” is having the right heart and attentive spirit in connecting with people. I’m thankful I received a spirit of prayer throughout the week before.
While I know I am biased, there was a great food (appy potluck style), great people and great conversation. It was the best mix of people I’ve yet seen, from different circles of life in the city. Mingling is a tough thing — most naturally people stick with the people they know all night. But I was quite pleased that this was the most mingling I’ve seen at any of our parties. I love it when different spheres of my life collide and integrate and one of those ways is seeing people I know from different circles mingling.
Earlier this year I went to a marketplace conference at Regent that shed some light on the busyness of modern life. Back in earlier days and centuries, you interfaced with a finite number of people who represented different roles and spheres in your life. For example, your siblings would also be your friends and co-workers in the family business perhaps. Another person in your life might be your butcher, friend and fellow church member.