We were in Halfwaytonowhere, Idaho a couple of weekends ago for my Cousins memorial service, staying at a nearby resort (the only lodging for miles around). We were having dinner at the restaurant, sitting out on their deck, when a couple of built-up hotrods pulled up. Turns out that there was going to be a small hot rod gathering that evening, so we settled in and waited for all of them to arrive.
There were some really nice restorations, a couple of unusual vehicles, and some really built-for-racing rigs. We wandered around gawking and admiring, and struck up a couple of conversations. Rod had seen an article about a 1954 GM concept car, and vowed to have one some day. He spent years looking, and finally had one custom made for him – the 1954 Corvette with the Chevy Nomad roof. He is a retired firefighter from California, who travels back and forth between there and Idaho – no more shoveling snow for him! Super-nice guy, very friendly and outgoing.
Then we met Mark and Katherine – turns out she graduated from Ferndale High School, same school as my daughter! They met in college many years ago, moved to New York, then back out west. If I remember right, his uncle had a home on a nearby lake, where he had spent a lot of time with family as a youth. They were able to purchase that home, and lived there for several years before a neighbor convinced them to sell. They then moved into the resort community we were at, loved it, but are looking for a new place.
So, what’s the point? Both of these are examples of what we call “Five Minute Friendships”. It’s all about being open, and reaching out to people, and connecting with them. Generally we never see these people again, but in the meantime, we’ve taken the time to put our phones down, look people in the eye, and share a bit of ourselves with them, and listen to them share a bit about themselves. In this fast-moving, increasingly impersonal world, we consciously take the time to try and connect with others.
My wife is currently reading a book called “Life After Heaven” by Steven Musick. She has shared the basic storyline with me, and I’m excited to read it as well. The backstory is amazing and really powerful, then gets into a concept the author calls “Bubbles from Heaven.” Basically it takes the Five Minute Friendship to the next level, when you open your eyes to see a need, then open your heart to meet that need. My friend Don did that a while. Here’s what happened in his words: “I was at Costco just before Christmas. A woman with three young children had a sizable amount of groceries on the belt. The cashier found that her husband’s Costco card hadn’t been renewed for a long time. They tried everything to get it to work, but they told her they were sorry and started removing her stuff. When she was taking her toddler out of the cart, I felt a spiritual slap across my head as if I was asleep. I told them to put everything through and I paid for it. She was tearfully embarrassed and thankful. I said “God bless you and Merry Christmas.” In retrospect, I think it had more effect on the cashier and boxer……. and my wallet ;). Look at how many were blessed by this bubble from heaven!
And I guess that’s a part of why I write this blog – I want to make more connections with more people. I want to do my part to experience bubbles from heaven. I love technology, but I love people more. I’m looking forward to many more Five Minute Friendships – or a GREAT friendship – with you!