45 minutes on Friday night. 70 minutes on Saturday morning. Another 50 minutes on Saturday morning. Two hours on Saturday afternoon.
The young adults sat and listened intently. They wrote things I said and insights the Holy Spirit gave them. They asked questions and willingly answered mine. They interacted comfortably with each other during the breaks.
When I sent them off by themselves to think more deeply about something, they did it. They did it well. Several told me later that the insights they received were very meaningful. I was grateful. I remain grateful.
We spent the last hour of our time together playing soccer in a large cage. Well that’s what some of the people did. A few of us watched. These men and women who had sat still for hours, even on uncomfortable chairs, became very body smart right before my eyes.
Many clearly had physical skills. They all had joy while in the cage. One jumped in the air and deftly kicked the ball in ways I couldn’t imagine even attempting. Many used their entire bodies well. Some were able to keep the ball between their feet, protecting it from someone on the other team. Others were able to kick it hard and straight right at the goal.
The men who took turns as goalies were also very body smart. They quickly maneuvered themselves into the path of the ball. They often caught it and tossed it into the playing field.
Two things strike me as being very important.
One, we should never assume people don’t have a particular smart simply because we don’t see them using it. I never would have guessed these young adults had the body-smart joy and ability they had based on the way they sat and listened to me. They hadn’t fidgeted, played with their pens, crossed and uncrossed their legs over and over again, or done anything but respectfully listen.
Second, I’m inspired and reminded that we don’t have to use an intelligence we have just because we have it. The reason I didn’t know these men and women were as body smart as they were is because they had not demonstrated it during the learning times of our retreat. They instead chose wisely to use the intelligences most relevant to the learning encounters we had. We can encourage people to use the intelligences most relevant to the activities they find themselves engaged in as they develop their self-control, self-respect, and respect for others.
What do you think? Can you remember something from your past that points to the same two insights? Whether you can or can’t, how about observing in the days that follow to see if an encounter with people supports these same points?
Who do you know who will benefit when you interact with these two points in mind? Do it.