Relationships…is there anything more important, especially right now?
In past years, I have shared the theme that I have selected to follow for the year as part of my life plan. This year, I have taken a different tack. Instead of a theme and then all kinds of health, relationship and personal development goals, I have chosen one word: Relationship. We are at a time in our country’s life where relationships are strained in many places. For a variety of personal reasons, this is where I will be putting my focus in 2017.
Relationships can be hard work, and they may not always be equally valued. Working on an important relationship often takes courage and vulnerability. Recently, the Rector shared a phrase that I will be incorporating into my focus this year: “Better to have your heart broken than hardened.” Hardened hearts have led to much of the terror, genocide, and war on our planet. Hardened hearts have also led to divorce and unreconcilable splits amongst family members and friends.
So, what will I be doing to connect and invest?
- Looking carefully at my schedule to try and balance work and other commitments, with a focus on how I can show up present and engaged in the relationships that matter.
- Setting an intention to reach out to college friends who live across the country.
- Investing in meaningfully connecting one-on-one with my sons and husband each week.
- Thinking about the future when an important person in my life may not be around, and then cherishing the opportunity to be with that person now.
Jesus had to fight many people in his short time in the world, and yet he kept reaching out, challenging us to expand our relationships beyond just the comfortable or easy ones. One has to imagine that it is that focus in honoring and building relationships that has us still following in his footsteps. At times, it may feel like there’s nothing we can do to tone down the negativity and prevent a hardened heart, and yet, each day offers us a chance to be intentional about investing in expanding and deepening the important relationships of our lives.
What might you do to meaningfully work on the important relationships in your life this Lenten season?
Appointed readings for today:Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Psalm 1, Luke 9:18-25