19 February 2016

Book Recommendation

I'm almost finished with Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Won't Stop Talking. I cannot recommend it highly enough, particularly to teachers and to parents of young children. How I WISH I had understood all this growing up and in my early ministry! I listened on Audible and kept shouting out in the car "Yes! Yes! And YES!" My only complaint is that it is tilted so much toward business. But even so, great, great insight. And yes, you extraverts would find it beneficial too. You know to whom I'm talking.

One of the ironies of my life is that I am quite comfortable as a public speaker, but not at all comfortable in large groups socially. I don't mind preaching or teaching to hundreds or thousands, but don't put me into a meeting where I have to deal with lots of noise and lots of people. I freak out. Quite literally. I shut down and need to go and hide. Sounds silly to you? Read the book. Sounds familiar to you? Read the book.

It brought back a memory from a dinner at a New York restaurant, Manatee's. Two close friends were pressing me. And pressing too close. "But what do you want?" they asked. I replied in utter honesty: "I want to be left alone." I still remember the perplexed and hurt looks on their faces. But I didn't mean that I didn't care about them; I mean they were pressing in way too close for my comfort. I needed to be left alone. Not for ever. But for a bit. Enough for me to regain some balance in my life. It's always the same pattern. My sister told me how she'd observed it years ago: "You always have to get away for time by yourself; you can only stay in the room so long with others." I was shocked that I'd never seen it, but it was absolutely true. I LIKE being with others, but only in small doses and then I have to recharge, or I come unfrayed.


Rev. Joshua Hayes said...

Given that our Lord, too, has a human nature, do you suppose He is on the introverted side in the sense that He needs to retreat from people to recharge and is drained by the crowds?

I never thought about this until now, but it would make sense.

William Weedon said...

Oddly enough, I do. The author thinks the opposite and speaks of him as crowd loving, but I do think the evidence tends in the other direction. His compassion moves him to welcome the crowd, but he was attempting to get away. I think of the frequent prayer at night, and often alone, sometimes with only the three closest.