I am so glad I didn’t send that e-mail. The one to my professor. Who I just got off the phone with five minutes ago.
I was beyond frustrated with my class and was going to make sure and let him know that through my cyberspace letter: which I could somewhat hide behind… and be a little feistier in tone… and make sure I’d be getting my point across.
And then that all-too-familiar voice of the gentle Spirit within said, Call him.
No thanks. I’m not into making uncomfortable phone calls.
As I kept on writing, my frustrations grew – along with the size of my e-mail.
Ugh. But he’s probably very busy Lord, and I don’t want to bug him.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s don’t argue with God. It’s really rather futile. So, I finally called my professor. And like I said, I’m really glad I did.
He was kind. He was understanding. He assured me he was working on all of the kinks in the online class. He told me not to worry about deadlines and assignments that were supposed to be there but weren’t. His response wasn’t anything like I had assumed it would be. We had a pleasant talk about the weather and got off the phone blessing each other’s day. I was left smiling.
What a difference it would have been had I tossed out that blunt e-mail and then spent the next four hours justifying my bad attitude in my head. I would not have been smiling afterward. In fact, I’d still be grouchy – defending my actions all day long. But instead, I’ve been able to get on with my day and really enjoy it, even though things are still unresolved with my class.
I realized something through this little experience. Besides the obvious reminder of the “obey God and be happier” lesson, I was reminded of how important verbal communication is. It keeps us grounded. It keeps us humble. And it keeps us way more open to others.
This day and age, more than ever before, it is much easier to “connect” with people without ever uttering a single word, whether it be through e-mail, texts, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or whatever the latest social media outlet is.
But communication is about so much more than conveying messages with words:
- It’s about speaking and listening.
- It’s about expressing the heart, not just a message.
- It’s about seeking to understand as well as being understood.
- It’s about conveying feelings.
I got to hear my professors heart. I spent time listening instead of just dumping. I was able to affirm him and how excited I am (now, anyway), to be in his class. I’m sure he’s already been dealing with a few other e-mails from frustrated students; I got to be one of the ones who gave him a bit of reprieve and understanding while at the same time, being heard myself.
I ditched the e-mail and protected a relationship in the process. And I’m so glad I did. So very glad I did.