Well this has been an eventful few weeks. Just off Covid, I had a ton of catching up to do! I am almost up to date, with a few things still behind, but the church just seems to keep generating work! I want to be clear on this, this is a good thing. But this does create an issue that must be dealt with.
In our lives we (most of us) have three areas to be concerned with. First is our relationship with God, second is our relationship with our family, and third is our relationship with our boss. Interesting how every aspect of our life has to do with relational concerns, almost as if because our God is relational with all in love, He would like us to have plenty of practice while in this broken world!
But as God is omnipresent, we are not. (though it would make things much easier!). We must be careful to strike a balance in our life. Which of the three areas do we spend the most time with? Which of the three areas should we spend the most time with? Of course the answer to this depends on your calling, but rest assured, all three should be in our lives at all times.
Say God gave us a call to be an accountant. Then much of our time will be spent doing that job to the best of our ability. Say God also called you to be a parent, likewise, in good examples, we spend much of our time away from the office being the best parent we can. Lastly God calls us to worship. So in the best examples we spend time with God daily.
But what does this all look like in reality? Our job takes over our life! Family comes in second and God is a distant third; if He gets noticed at all!
I found, in the last 30 years of being an employed adult, that as life happens, we play the balance of the big three like some weird three sided teeter totter. At times we are focused on our job, ignoring God and family. Sometimes we focus on family, shorting God and work. And there were times we focus on God, ignoring work and family. None of these are healthy nor good examples of how to live life. We must strike a balance.
Work requires 8 hrs a day, 40 hrs a week. If yours is requiring more, you should speak with your family about the reasons why. Say you are starting a business, and your family is on board with the first few years of absenteeism, that would be fine. But if it becomes a lifestyle, your work schedule needs to change.
Family should get evenings and weekends. Your children need you..they may not say that or even express it with their bedroom door slammed in your face, but they need you. They don’t need your money, they don’t need gifts, they don’t need cards or phone calls, they need you. Some nights there will be meetings, and that is OK, but most of your evenings should be spent with family.
Sundays and at least 30 minutes each days should be spent with God. Prayer is important, but do not let it get in the way of family time. Please do not take this as a “God comes third” statement, God gave us our family responsibility, and though God comes first, He does expect us to tend to our families by working to put a roof over their head and giving them a proper raising (time spent). If you think you need more prayer time, wake up early or go to bed late to spend more time with God. Lunch is a great time for prayer, so are breaks during the day, so if God is calling you for more, make certain to be inventive, don’t steal time from family or work. Rosaries while driving, or even listening to the bible on your car stereo are also great ways to make the best of down time and giving it to God.
Striking the balance is difficult, but we must constantly keep after it! Look at your balance and see where you are off, then sit down and figure out how to give appropriate time to all three areas.