Let me just say that the last 5 hours have been extreme CHAOS in regards to communication. Little did I know, the problem has been going on for a minimum of two days. I was oblivious until everything began to fall apart.
Long story short: my outgoing email is sitting somewhere out in cyberspace going nowhere. Being that I've sent about 300 emails in the last 48 hours, it's a very significant issue. The problem is: there is no rhyme or reason to which ones are actually going out and which ones are "floating". I can be in a direct email conversation back and forth with someone and some of my responses will deliver and others---even though I'm replying to the same email! Let me just tell you....this has caused some EXTREME confusion and frustration tonight. Let's just say: I had to give into a diet coke (cheater!!!!) and am eating a giant bowl of ice cream at the moment. :)
Fortunately, there is a temporary solution. I can use a different email account and things work as they are supposed to. The good news is that I'm slowly getting in touch with the people that I've been trying to communicate within recent days, especially 30+ individuals from today. Yikes! The bad news is that my regular email provider can't determine the problem at this point. Now that I know there is a problem, I'm diligently working to get in touch with those people that I need to via the alternate account. Jeepers!
As I look back over the last couple of days, I'm now able to fill in the blanks of why I didn't seem to "connect" with some people I was corresponding with. So many times details were missing or things didn't line up. I never dreamed they weren't getting some of my emails. Conversations just felt off and I wasn't for sure why.
All of this has made me stop and think about communication and how important it is that it goes BOTH ways. If you have a break down in communication, things can QUICKLY fall apart. That is absolutely true in MANY areas like marriage, parenting, and in the business world. Every which direction you turn, it is important to be on the same page communicating in both directions: listening and speaking.
What really struck me tonight is how both aspects are CRUCIAL in my relationship with Christ. I HAVE to talk with Him (through prayer) on a REGULAR basis. Sporadic doesn't work. Only in hard times doesn't work. It HAS to be consistent, often, and more than just on the surface.
On the flip side, I have to be LISTENING. I admit---this is a HARD one for me! It's just as crucial to have my ears and heart open to what He is saying as it is for me to be talking to Him. Drowning out all the other voices and noise is hard for me. Really hard!
Just like today's chaos came from only one side of communication happening, my world falls apart if I'm not talking with Him and listening as well. If one aspect starts to slip away, chaos ensues. Disconnect happens. I feel like we are on different pages. Both aspects of communication have to work together. Miss out on one, the other doesn't much matter.