Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Finding Common Ground

What is the most attractive thing about someone?  Is it the brilliant blue of their eyes?  or is it their strong, broad shoulders and rippling muscles?  or is it any number of things that society touts as hallmarks of beauty?

To me, these are merely distractions.  I believe the most compelling trait in someone is the common interest we share.  Do you care about enough similar subjects to hold effortless conversation with me?  That is when friendship becomes easy.  That is when you could talk for hours without running out of things to say.  That is when you don't want to be the first person to hang up the phone. That is what builds the pathway to love.

Years ago I met an incredibly handsome man.  And he was, indeed, a man; not a boy, not a young man; I found myself utterly attracted to the fact that he seemed very mature and assured and ready to tackle the world.  At first glance, it would seem we had nothing in common.  He grew up on a ball field, or a ball court, or a ball diamond.  Me?  Don't you throw a ball at me!  I will not be able to catch it and will invariably end up hurting myself or someone or something else. 
He was the life of the party, effortlessly making all around him feel comfortable and important.  Me?  I was shy and insecure and awkward.  I was more at ease in a library, surrounded by friends that leapt from the pages of books.

So what could we possibly have to talk about?  Well, we did like to ski.  And we did like to go to church.  And we did like to laugh.  And we did like chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.

These were the beginnings of our common ground.  It didn't take long to discover that we shared the same goals of family; the same interest in great books and ideas.  I read the great books.  He had the great ideas.

And most importantly, we shared a love of our Savior, and a desire to follow Him.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ equipped us with the tools to learn patience, tolerance, forgiveness, and unconditional love. 

That was all the common ground we needed.


Laura said...

I love that picture!

I don't know who said it, but something like, it's our differences that make us fascinated with each another but it's our similarities that get us on common ground. It definitely makes life interesting! :-)

Nancy said...

Is that Brian in the center? What a great post!