It never fails.
No matter where in the world my wife and I travel, we have the same conversation/argument.
Her idea of a vacation requires doing as many cultural and experiential things as possible – Vietnamese water puppets, crawling through bat dung in Pagadian, a Kechak dance in Bali, taking a walking tour in Franklin, a Kabuki in Japan, walking through Robben Island in Cape Town, etc. No museum or market, fair or festival is out of the question.
My idea of a vacation is a large and soft seat in a cool place, with fast wifi access. I want to sleep in as long as possible. And when I wake up, I want to take my time reading, sleeping, and talking. I’m fine with a quick excursion to eat or to do something adventurous. But I want to return to my cave afterwards.
You can imagine the conversations this produced when we got married. She couldn’t understand why I was so uninterested in culture. And I couldn’t understand why she was so obsessed with it. We would try to reason with one another, but it wasn’t a question of reasonability. It was a question of values.
A value is something that is truly important to you. Not what you say is important. Not even what you think is important. But what’s so important to you that you are automatically attracted to it. You think about it. You spend time and money on it. Look at your receipts and schedule the past two months and your values will be obvious.
When you have two people of the same values, they can accomplish so much because they both hold the same things as important. So when Carla travels with her sister, Paula, they take the city by storm. And when I’m traveling with my brother, Joshua, nobody disturbs our slumber.
So how do Carla and I make it work? Well, we might have different values in traveling, but there are higher values that we believe in. She values my companionship and historical knowledge so she waits for me to accompany her. And I value my mental health and peace at home so I’m happy to go along, provided I get time to rest as well.
In short, when values are clashing, the higher values will hold you together. Whenever you have a disagreement, a fight, an offense, whenever you’re unsure about how to deal with this person, it’s usually a question of values.
On Friday, we’ll see how those values play into our churches and organizations.