I would have never believed the world could begin to shrink, but as certain as the sun rising in the morning and fading away with the evening it did. HOW, you might ask could the world shrink.
I am not speaking of a smaller physical land form, but instead the people withing. I first began to notice my shrinking world when I moved to Texas. You can live in the midst of millions of people and actually know fewer people than you did when residing in the middle of 20,000. Large cities are not conducive to a plethora of relationships. The void of common history also builds a natural barrier of mutual interest. There is no picking up where you left off when you have only lived in an area for a brief time period.
I moved back to Ruston thinking I would once again be exposed to large numbers of friends and acquaintances. It wasn't long before I found myself running in a rut. I was doing the same things, with the same people on an on-going basis. The friends I was in contact with are wonderful people, but I was not seeking difference in my life. As I made the same circles day after day, the rut was growing deeper and deeper and my world was shrinking.
God began to open up new opportunities with a wide variety of people from all age groups. The first meeting with the new ministry opportunity group found me in a room full of YOUNG people~the age of my children. Half the time, in the first meeting, I did not know what they were talking about or as they threw around names--who the people were. To my amazement, there is a bright new world full of young people with a passion for ministry. I left invigorated and excited about new opportunities.
I believe it is a natural phenomena for our worlds to begin shrinking as we age, UNLESS we are careful to continue to expand them. We begin to have tunnel vision when we see and hear the same things over and over. Balance is always the key in keeping our worlds expanding. Hopefully I will not wake up some day and have turned into one of these old people who tell the same old stories over and over. The old stories are wonderful to hear, but how refreshing to add a new one to the mix occasionally.
Wisdom can come with age. To have the opportunity to share your wisdom, there is a need to have cultivated friends of all ages. My peers are not so interested in my wisdom~they have been there done that. The younger people in my circle though are open and interested in life's stories and things I have learned. The key to sharing is getting out of the rut and seeking new opportunities. I am always amazed at who God places in my path. It is a two way street of exchanging ideas~win/win!