Life is busy. Most of us have too much on our plate and we find ourselves doing the bare minimum to get by. And we miss out.
We make lots of excuses as to why we are busy and why we can't stop doing anything right now, but will in the future. Some of those excuses are valid.
The other day, I found myself face-to-face with a friend who had a big tragedy last year. Life-changing big. And during the aftermath, I never said anything. Oh, I think I commented on facebook a couple of times about how sorry I was, but I never reached out personally.
And I had some (in my opinion) valid reasons. She was overwhelmed with wishes from others, I would wait until it had been a month and then reach out--you know, when the reality of her loss had set in. Also, I couldn't think of words. I didn't want to be trite "Sorry for your loss. I'm praying for you" just didn't seem like enough. I wanted words that would touch her and comfort her (when in reality, MY words could never do that, but if I'd have allowed Him to use me, the Holy Spirit could have).
I still believe my heart was in the right place. But I also believe I missed the boat on being a friend. I got caught up in the "me" portion of it and failed to just be there for her.
The older I get and the more years pass beneath my belt, I am struck by the power of words. The simple, "I love you." The "You are special." Even just "You crossed my mind today and I prayed __________ for you."
What holds us back? In my case, I really believe it's a lack of margin. I want to say something, but I want to say the right thing, so I wait and then I get busy and don't take the time to just sit and think through it.
I've been more inconsistent than ever with my blog. Partly because I don't want to share everything that's going on in my head. Partly because I think people don't read it based on the lack of comments I get and I don't want to clog up everyone's newsfeed. Partly because of my insecurities of getting the pity comments because people feel bad nobody else has commented.
Maybe it's the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart (I choose to think it is), but I have been hit with the urgency to slow down and take time to speak the words I'm thinking to people. It's easy to do for a day, but my challenge is to continue to do it when I'm racing kids to activities or trying to finish emails after a long day of meetings.
And here's the other part I know. God prompts us constantly. It's that voice that says, "Hmmm...that article he posted made me really think." or "That was a great family conversation we had because of that comment she made." Or even, "I haven't talked to __________ in a while, I wonder what she is up to?"
So, I am committing to stepping out to not just listen, but to follow through with action. To write the note, make the call, send the message, leave the voicemail.
Anyone else with me?