Do you ever consider what your first thought was when you first met that someone who tickled your fancy? Go back a moment. Was it positive? Was it negative? Was it spot on with who that person was, or was it a singular incident that did not represent that person at all? Sometimes, our first thoughts or perceptions about a person can be spot on with who a person is, while at other times, a given situation can reveal something that is not at all what that person is like. When you are in pursuit of someone to connect to on a relational level, how often are the events of your past or previous relationships imprinted on your first thoughts about what the present person is like? Do you catch yourself saying, “Oh, this one is just like so and so?” Or do you say, “They’re all the same”? It may be time to take a moment and step back to reassess how you’re seeing things.
When first impressions are filtered through our past relationships, our friends or family’s pressures or influences, we can miss the diamond in the rough, or the rotten egg in the basket. It can go either way. Time is often the thing that can bring true clarity. It can be hard to think in this way, but if a person comes along that you immediately think has potential, give yourself permission to watch them over a period of time before you approach them. If you think they aren’t worth a hill of beans, be willing to do the same; watch to see if there is something you might have missed.
How often have you heard someone say that what they needed in someone didn’t come exactly how they imagined? That’s not to say that it can’t happen; however, who might you be casting aside that might in fact be the very one God has purposed for you. Have you ever seen someone say, “I almost missed out on the one meant for me because of what I first thought about them”? Be willing to allow your first impression to be something that is built over time, not created in a flash. Snapshots are just that. Clips are segments of an event that allow for greater context of a given situation.
If you allow yourself permission to gather clips rather than snapshots, you may find that there is gold buried underneath, or maybe all that glitters is simply fools gold. What is it worth to you, to be able to give yourself the ample time to see clearly, who a person is? You could save yourself time and future heartache, or you could very well discover that what was there is priceless beyond measure.
QUESTION: Do you give yourself time to see things clearly? What are some things you can do to add a bit more clarity to your relational pursuits?