Friendship will be our salvation.
I haven’t heard anybody say lately that they “love” their job. Everyone (even if pre-pandemic loved what they did) is now stressed to the max and wallowing in busyness.
I feel it too. I love what I do. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life. But I have felt that weight on me and the struggle to stay passionate and engaged in what I do.
The unfortunate gift of the industrial revolution is the celebration of being “busy”.
Our jobs became our passion and the place we expended most of our energy.
Like then and now let's confess we love telling people we are “busy” because for some of us that give us some sense of value and purpose in our lives. It makes us feel somewhat significant and important when others feel that they have to fight for a little bit of our time.
In the background of all these are real relationships, partners, kids, parents, friends, neighbors.
We put such an emphasis on what we do that the investment of our time into real, deep relationships falls by the wayside.
A few months ago I was watching a Netflix documentary that showed people are the unhappiest in their 30-60s. You do the math those are the prime working years. The years when most of us have kids.
But they are also years where many of us struggle to maintain real community and friendship. We become somewhat nomadic. Not really dwelling in one place for long.
As a pastor, I have done quite a few funerals. Sometimes family members will stand up to say a few words about their loved one. These words typically revolve around “he was good dad, my best friend, loyal neighbor… there when you needed him.”
I am struck… that I don’t hear anything about the “career”. About the things that kept this person busy the 30-40 years of their life.
I don’t even know what they did because no one ever talks about it.
When we tell people that we are “so busy” it isn’t to say at the end of the day that work doesn’t matter. Because it does.
But in terms of the fullness of our lives what matters at the end of the day is our family, our community, our friendships.
Maybe this is a note to those who are walking the same path as I am. Realizing like me the deep need for community and deep friendship.
At the end of the day to make space for community… doesn’t mean that I am less busy… but it does mean I have to work to put myself at the table. What stands between me and who I want to be will always be work. Nothing is given to us.
Friendship and community aren’t built by showing up once or twice or by a click of a button (thanks Facebook). Friendships are built upon consistency, work, and being there for one another. Showing up when it matters most.
Because at the end of the day… what matters… well… that when life was chaotic… or during the 2020 pandemic… “they showed up.”