The movie, Cool Hand Luke is even before my time, but I have had the opportunity to watch it on several occasions. Luke played by a young Paul Newman was perfect for the part. His good looks and swagger lets you know right up front that Newman is perfect for the part. My favorite scene in the whole movie is where the Boss Man(Warden of the prison) tells Luke and the others that their insubordinate actions are the results of a, “failure to communicate.” In other words the lack of communicating adequately and thoroughly leads to the trouble that Luke finds himself in. While this movie is fictional one finds a great deal of truth in this one scene.
Some movies are glimpse into real life, with much to be learned. My favorite movie of all time is, On Golden Pond starring Katherine Hepburn and Henry Fonda. The movie is centered around a summer in New England and Norman as played by Henry Fonda has reached his eightieth year of his life and is trying to find purpose and meaning as he leaves the world of academia behind and seeks to find peace with himself and his daughter played by none other than Jane Fond. Anyway, On Golden Pond is another blog all together. However, how many times have we seen issues that arose in the church due to a failure to communicate? I could say emphatically bunches of times.
All are to blame both clergy and laity. Communication is essential to the wellbeing of any organization. When communication is missing it does one thing and that is that it breeds mistrust between the leadership and the laity. Don’t get me wrong, I think we clergy have a greater responsibility than the laity to make sure that things are going well, and that all is in order. Quite simply that’s part of our jobs, but we are not mind readers. We cannot know what every person is thinking. The best advice I can give is that if something that I said is bothering you or you are not real clear, come to me and talk to me and I will guarantee you that if we both approach the subject in the Spirit of Christ we can work through it and find peace and reconciliation.
The failure to communicate can wreak havoc in persons lives. It can cause individuals to lose faith in the leadership of the church and with the church itself. This is why we must always be sensitive to the needs and feelings of others. Communication at its basic level is what prayer is all about. Talking to God, but also being silent in order to listen to what God is saying. This is communication. Many times we in the church talk over God and in the midst of all our talking we do not listen very well.
If our communicating to God could be improved we would see far less problems in the life of the church and ultimately in the lives of those that we communicate with on a daily basis as we learn to interact one with another. The need to be respectful and truly listen to the concerns of others is essential. If we cannot be respectful in our conversation one with another then how in the world do we think that we are going to be able to communicate with one another. Communication is one of the keys to building the Kingdom of God. A failure to communicate can be devastating in the life of a congregation. Let us be willing to communicate and let us always err on the side of love…