The above picture is one of my favorites from our trip to Czech.
There’s nothing really all that special about it. The picture is kind of grainy. It’s dark. It doesn’t have the right angle to make it artistic (it’s all about the angles, guys). It isn’t even all that interesting. I mean, two guys drinking from cups – it’s not going to win me any photography awards.
But the quality isn’t why I like this picture so much.
It’s what it represents.
During our time at Kristfest, a nation-wide youth camp, God connected me with three young men I had never met before.
These young men were the first to the front during times of worship.
They took part in a number of workshops.
They grew in their gifts and talents.
And displayed a hunger for God I have yet to see in the States.
I had the privilege of praying with these guys and speaking into their lives multiple times.
After my first time praying over them, I was asking God to give me an opportunity to get to know them more. It’s not easy building relationship with people who don’t share your language. Or culture. Or weird sense of humor.
He answered that prayer on Thursday night.
It was my team’s last time spending the night at Kristfest and, rather than going to bed after a late service, we went to the Tea Tent – a large tent set up for people in drink tea, talk, and get to know one another.
We went in with some of our friends from Cesky Tesin – and these three young men came in and sat next to us.
Filip, the young man in the picture, challenged me to a Pakistani tea drinking contest.
I drank 6 cups. He drank 11.
And I paid for it that night with a complete lack of sleep.
But it was a price I was willing to pay – because these young men were worth missing a night of sleep.
Building relationship with people isn’t easy. It’s not always convenient. It won’t always fit into your schedule and rarely into your comfort zone. It will push you, challenge you, and cause you to step out in ways you might not otherwise do.
But it’s worth it.
Because people are worth it.
Drinking six cups of tea at 11:30 at night wasn’t comfortable. It wasn’t normal. I knew after the second cup that I probably wouldn’t sleep well that night.
But it provided a way for me to get to know these three young men even more.
And that made the lack of sleep worth it.
How have you stepped out of your comfort zone to build relationship with others?