Although the preacher didn’t know it, this morning’s sermon was aimed straight at me. It was based on Mark 3:20-35 and was all about the times we let our families down because we are off doing other things.
I’ve blogged before about work life balance – one example is here – but there are too many occasions when I’m elsewhere, either physically, or (which is worse) mentally. And it gets complicated – I stay in touch with old friends via social networks, and I have been blessed with a wonderful group of friends via Twitter, many of whom are clergy or related to clergy, and understand the pressures. But it isn’t obvious to my family when I’m working at my computer, or when I’m chatting at my computer. It gets even more complicated as I look for “me” time – as a loud introvert, I enjoy interaction with others, but it leaves me exhausted, so I am often found hiding in my study avoiding everyone. The trouble is, the everyone I am avoiding tends to be my family, not because I want to avoid them, but because I am “peopled out”. My family bears the brunt of my need for time alone.
It’s because they are family they get mistreated. Friends understandably walk away, and become less good friends if we do not invest time and energy in them. Family don’t have that luxury….or when they do, it is a far more painful business than realising you no longer talk to a friend, just exchange “likes” on Facebook.
“God loves perfectly, we can only try to do the same” ended the sermon this morning. I love imperfectly, but I can try to ensure that I give attention to the relationships that need attention – which includes those with family, friends and mine with God. But I’m still not quite clear how to get it right.