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Tour Guides and the Heart December 31, 2007

Posted by TimTheFoolMan in Relationships.
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Last year, my family went on a vacation to Maui, Hawaii. For our family, it was a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and we splurged, largely because as my oldest son progresses in college, the opportunities for us to all vacation together will be less and less frequent now.

If you’ve watched the video podcasts that I’ve posted here, you may recall me talking about the vacation to Maui, and how valuable the book “Maui Revealed” was while we were there. One of the striking this about this book is that helped us find things that we would have certainly missed if we’d not had the insights of an insider.

Maui Revealed

Going to Maui with this book made me feel as if the author would have been personally insulted if we had just done the “touristy things.” Have you ever had a good friend who was that way with friendship? Have you ever been friends with someone who wouldn’t allow you to be superficial… who wouldn’t allow you to “be a tourist” with friendship?

New Places…
I love going to new places. One of the perks of my job is that it requires occasional travel, but not so much that I feel disconnected from home.

As a result of traveling regularly, I’ve become pretty adept at packing my suitcase, knowing what I need to have on-hand for a 2-3 day trip, and taking care of all the necessary details with a hotel, rental car, and flight arrangements.

I’ve also found that I love seeing the out-of-the-way places… the little restaurant that all the locals love, the Bed & Breakfast that doesn’t have wireless Internet (but has home-cooked breakfast that smells so good it’s an alarm clock all its own), the ice cream shop with the plastic Moose on the owner’s car. Getting to know these types of places helps me to see what a town is really like. I suspect this is one of the reasons that I liked “Maui Revealed” so much.

…New Faces
Some years ago, I noticed that one of the quirks of my personality is that I really enjoy meeting new people. I enjoy making friends in new places, and creating an ever-widening circle of people who I know socially.

Obviously, since there are only so many hours in a day, there’s only so much you can do to get to know casual friends. Even so, there are some friends that just won’t stay “casual.”

Friendship, Revealed
I’m at the stage of my life where I value many things, but I value friendships much more than I used to. Among these are a couple of friends who know me almost better than I know myself.

These friends want to know me in a more personal way, but they also want me to know them that way too. With the people I’m thinking of, their friendship almost demands that type of communication.

Interestingly, the process of revealing myself to someone else, frequently takes me to places within my heart that I might not otherwise travel. It’s as if I’m the tour guide to my own heart, and have to make a quick trip back to those little-traveled places and familiarize myself with them before I can be an adequate guide.

Personal Revelation
When I am given a glimpse into those places in someone else’s heart that are generally kept secret, I find myself humbled and challenged. I feel compelled to find a willingness to make myself vulnerable in the same way they have.

Have you been challenged by a close friend to reveal those things that you might otherwise keep hidden? Who have you been willing to take on a tour of your heart? If you haven’t allowed someone else such access, I strongly encourage it. It’s risky, to be sure, because you don’t know for certain if they might have wanted to “just be a tourist.”

On the other hand, if they’re truly wanting to know you, perhaps they’ll demand that kind of access. If they do, how will you respond?

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