Just Scratching the Surface
I had a special and unique opportunity this past summer to have a month of uninterrupted time with my family as we travelled around the country. I know that most people don’t get such a chance. I was able to connect with my wife and children on different levels than we often can during our day-to-day hurry-up routine. So often, in our normal week, we barely have time to scratch the surface in our conversations. I long for those walks in the woods or those long car rides when we could dig down a little deeper and really connect.
As is true with most of life, we live and make our decisions by intentional choices. As I think about what I am missing about that time away I realize that I can often choose a different way of being. Taking my daughter out for ice cream gives us more time to connect. Taking a long walk with my spouse allows us to talk without the interruption of a mobile phone. Turning off phones and screens while at the dinner table or around a family game night allows us to really enjoy one another’s company. Getting away for an afternoon or an overnight removes us from the normal to-do lists that busy us. Making time for these things requires intentionality.
The writer of Colossians, a letter found in the New Testament of the Bible, shares some wise counsel with the church and with families. I am quoting from Eugene Peterson’s translation, The Message. “So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” (Colossians 3:12-14)
Just as we intentionally choose the clothing we wear, and the attitudes we carry, so too we choose the way that we create time with our loved ones. Let’s not just scratch the surface of our relationships – with God, family, or neighbor – but make space for deep and meaningful connections.
To God be the Glory!