Been there. Done that. Had the t-shirt but got rid of it in a frenzy of decluttering.
Life truly is about the people more than the stuff. Or the busyness. Or the myriad of things I find to occupy my time.
But in some ways, stuff is much easier for me than people. It stays where you put it. It doesn’t interrupt you. It requires nothing.
Confession. I am much more like the Father in the old TV shows where he comes home from work and buries his nose in the paper while the family hums around him. The wifey comes out in her heels and pearls with matching oven mitts to set the succulent roast on the beautifully set table. The children play around the easy chair vying for Papa’s attention and all any of them gets is barely a grunt. Advice columnists opine that he needs a little time to unwind before he engages.
It is too easy to disconnect. Make excuses. Busy myself with answering emails or catching up on the news.
Part of my job is to hyper focus on my patient in a noisy Operating Room. I can easily tune out the conversation between the scrub nurse and the surgeon. The hums and beeps of the monitors are a backdrop to my focus on the patient. I am the Queen of Multi-Task Kingdom. All that is good.
Until I take it home.
The other night the man of my dreams was talking to me. I listened but my attention flitted here and there until he stopped. “You didn’t hear me,” he said. I protested. The Queen of Multi-Task Kingdom could come up with sort of what he said, but I missed the point. “Listen to me with your eyes.”
When I get caught up in my stuff as Queen of my Queendom, I miss out on life. And love. And relationship. I hold those I love at arm’s length because I choose busyness over time. It makes me feel important. Like I’m somebody. Being in relationship requires that I engage. That I meet needs that I am not sure I am up for. What if they ask something from me and I don’t have it to give? No answers. No way to fix the hurt or answer the question.
They love me. What if they discover I am a fake? That I am a mess? That I am stumbling through life hoping for the best instead of all put together? Will they turn away?
I do the same with God sometimes. I know where He is when I need Him. But intimacy requires something and what if He asks something I don’t want to give? Or what if He sees the hidden parts of me that I don’t want exposed? What if He lovingly asks me to let Him change me from the inside out and I’m not so sure I want to risk a different self? Sometimes the pain of the familiar is easier than confronting the fear of change. Will He give up on this spin cycle of a life and turn away?
And yet, I hear God humming an old Barbara Streisand tune as He holds me close, “People….people who need people. Are the luckiest people in the world.” Truth speaks. He made me for relationship, scary as that is to me.
So I put down my book and try again. Life is so much better lived together. To have someone ready to hold you when it spins out of control.
Point to Ponder: Do you have relationship challenges? How do you face them?