There is something about the power of a blank sheet of paper.
At first glance, a blank piece of paper is exactly that – blank! In other words, it’s a whole lot of nothing! On the flip side, it can also represent a world of possibilities.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stared at a blank pied of paper and been paralyzed. That happened to me quite a few times in both my Algebra and Chemistry classes in high school.
But these days, things are a little different and I was reminded of this earlier this week by my pastor, Randy Freund. During his sermon last week, after sharing the story of someone who had gone through the twelve steps of AA, he pulled out a framed blank sheet of paper. He explained to us that this was the blank sheet of paper he had shared with this individual after he had just completed one of the twelve steps. This blank piece of paper was to symbolize the fresh start that was now available to this individual.
As I listened, I was struck by this analogy and how it applies to the conversation we have each and every day. If you’re like me, you’ve probably come to the table with a few notes on a piece of paper ready to tackle the conversation at hand. I often need to have some reminder of what “I need to say” or what “I need to get accomplished” during that particular interaction.
There will be times when we need a discussion guide or agenda to help us stay on track; but the framed, blank sheet of paper Randy was holding up on Sunday was calling me to a world of possibilities.
What if, for the next conversation we have – whether it’s a difficult one with an employee, spouse or child, or one we’re we’re catching up with a friend over coffee – we simply placed a blank piece of paper in front of us and let it remind us of the world of possibilities that exists.
What if we just let the conversation happen without trying to “say what we have to say” in order to check it off some list?
What if it is actually true, that through conversations … life happens and finds meaning!