78-This Has Nothing To Do With Chicken Coops
Tis the season everybody! Let’s shop, bake cookies, go to parties, bake more cookies because you ran out way faster than you would like to admit, get that long-standing project done now that you have a few days off work, connect with people you haven’t heard from in a long time, send out cards, decorate your house, run to the store for more eggs but realize the lines are so long it would have been faster to order a chicken and some feed on Amazon, build a chicken coop and have your own farm fresh eggs (for round 3 of cookies, of course). I don’t know if any of these describe your Christmas season, but in our household we have had a new situation that has caused a similar effect… the art of working from home.
As we advance into the age of technology, I think more and more people may relate as meetings are held online rather than in person, computer networks are globally connected, documents edited and shared instantaneously. The need for face-to-face seems less necessary than ever before, but perhaps this is deceiving above all else. Allow me to explain: this month I have begun working from home and all the benefits were coming into play— “I can work early in the morning, spend time with the boys while it’s actually light outside then work a couple more hours in the evening…” Jen would ask, “Can we help my sister Thursday afternoon?” “Sure, I can flex my time Thursday, just work a little more Saturday night after the kids are in bed…” It all sounds good when we say it, but what we are really doing is creating chaos. I have never had more time available to dictate my schedule and miraculously less quality time spent with those I love and cherish the most. We finally stopped and took a look at what we were spending our time on: 40-50hrs of Project Forty time (Matt’s work), leader meetings at church, singing on the worship team, 4 hrs cleaning houses (Jen’s work), helping a family member paint her house, homeschooling our boys, keeping our house in order, eating, doing dishes because we eat and cook… what in the world could we remove from that list?!
With this list of daily necessities swirling around in our minds as we chugged along each day, Jen and I missed each other. We missed spending intentional time together on a date, or just a set time for me to clock out so we knew I could be fully present with the family. We were both doing the good and necessary things, but the Martha, Martha mentality took over without us really realizing it (Luke 10: 38-42). Swinging back around to the technology side of this conversation, let me say this: face-to-face is real. There is something in our nature that needs time with people, not just looking at people on a screen, but with them physically. It’s true for any relationship that I can think of, and I can imagine productivity in the work force may hinge on this as well in the long run. Maybe not for time efficient tasks, but how about for the longevity of a company, maintaining a positive and strong team of employees who can problem-solve because they work well together… because they are invested in each other?
Now, take all these thoughts and consider the season that is currently upon our culture. How much time is centered on sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening and enjoying Him? For some this may be the season He is highlighted and celebrated the most; all good things for sure, but like Jen and I running around doing good things, we missed each other in the process. Pull back some of the man-made tradition and just stop to be with your Savior this month… He is longing for time with you and wants to give you rest. How do you and God interact? Is it in the midst of the chaos or do you have intentional time set aside just for cultivating your relationship? I hope you all have a blessed and joyful time with your Savior and your family this week and celebrate the new year with a thankful heart!