I’d like to see what life would be like without friction, wouldn’t you? For people to get along, give each other room, accomodate each other, just be nice — for a few days anyway. Wouldn’t that feel great?
I recently observed a small company trying to make some headway in their quest for excellence. They’re doing a lot of things right, but friction on the team is making things interesting. Progress begun by one is undone by another, sometimes intentionally. At some point they’ll need to make some adjustments for things to keep improving, especially in the communication and relationships department. Assumptions and interpersonal conflicts are mildly problematic now, but will escalate when they attempt significant change.
Listen across the aisle sometime when you’re out for lunch and want a bit of free entertainment. Chances are good what you overhear will include friction of some sort between work colleagues, family members or neighbors. It’s easier to smile when it doesn’t touch YOU, isn’t it?
My sister, Jonell, recently reminded me of times when Dad would return from pastor’s conference and we’d ask him how things went. A few times he smiled and said “I’m glad for our problems, not some I heard about.” Friction is everywhere.
If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
The apostle Paul wrote those words, and they are a great reminder whenever we find ourselves in tense, friction-filled situations. Do what you can. Do ALL you can. If it’s up to you, go the extra mile. When it’s no longer up to you, you’ve done your part, you’ll know that at least you’ve done all you could do.
I also remember an older, wiser friend telling me one time: A little friction is necessary, Phil. If it wasn’t for friction, you wouldn’t be able to back your car out of the drive. I guess that’s true.