Recently, a wise man, with two decades worth of life experience more than me, said something that I needed to hear…
Let me first set up this conversation for you: I was in a coaching role with a team from a local church and we were sharing during our formation and accountability time. During this time, we name the next step that God is calling of each of us to. We work with the presupposition that we are called to participate in the way in which God is forming us (formation) and that by naming it out loud we are giving an account for our participation (accountability). Also, this wise gentleman was one of the primary influencers in me starting this blog. He said, “If you want to write, then write. Just like anything else, if you are called to do it, then you have to make time for it.”
So, during this conversation I was naming my need to learn to rest. I have a desperate need to learn better rhythms of stopping. I was naming off my thoughts that swirl as I try to rest. I was naming my expectations. I was naming the ways that I thought I was messing up.
He smirked. It was not a demeaning smirk, but a sly smirk of someone that has lived the experience I was naming.
He gently yet with the force of wisdom stopped me and said, “You know Kevin, I have been there and this is what I have learned. Nothing really matters in life except for your relationships.”
Relationships are those things that develop as I am doing things, right?
Relationships are by products of having a job?
Relationships naturally occur within families, correct?
No, that is not what he was saying, but these are the ways I have been treating relationships. I am not proud of this. But in this exchange I realized something. I realized that I see my list and my to do’s as the primary business of my day.
I see what I can do for others in regards to my job and my family. What do they need me to do today? And I work at that list… I control and manage that list.
I have a tendency to objectify relationships.
I sometimes make them a commodity.
I know that handling relationships in this way is wrong. I have sensed something has been off. But I have not been able to put my finger on it till the other night. And in the midst of that conversation, I realized what I have needed to realize.
Here it is. Relationships are the primary building block of life. They are not a side effect, not a commodity, and they are not secondary.
Relationships are primary.
My relationship with God – primary. Not what I do for Him or in His name. But my ‘being’ in relationship with Him is primary.
My relationship with my family – primary. Not what I do for them or in their name. But being present and with them is primary.
My relationship with others – extended family, friends and beyond – primary. Not what I do for them, or for their sake. Me being me and being with them is primary.
I need to face this truth and own it.
Relationships are primary. Take it to heart and join me in fight to keep them first.