I have spent countless hours in the past in pursuit of the big deal, the next idea, the better job. In every pursuit my focus was singular and the related stress, anxiety, distraction and consumption of time took something away from my spouse, my children and my friends.
I found it so easy to rationalize my absence from home (physically and mentally) by telling myself that either “I am doing this for them,” or “after this one I will have the freedom to really enjoy my life allot better.” Fortunately I awoke to the real truth.
The real truth is that when we forsake the “little things” such as investing in our spouses, our children, our parents and siblings and our friends, we are choosing to ignore the most important aspect of our lives: the intimate and eternal need to love and be loved. Not the love for work, or money or material things. The type of love that can be returned, received, and deposited into our memory banks and that feed our desire for meaning and purpose.
For all that I have accomplished, nothing on my resume defines the real me. When I look at my wife and my children, when I sit down with my sister and my parents, and when I take in a ball game or dinner with close friends I experience the joy of knowing I have a loving, purposeful existence. When my daughter hugs me and says “thanks for spending some time with me dad,” the feeling I get is more powerful than any client, fee check or award I have achieved.
Somewhere along the way too many of us have been tricked into believing that love is weak, distracting and foolishly interferes with our goals to get ahead. So many in my circle have broken marriages, distant children, and lonely lifestyles. What good is it to love in a NYC penthouse alone? How meaningful is it to surround yourself with people who are there only for the money, fame and power (as long as it lasts) but could care less about the real you?
God hard-wired us to need love more than any other experience the world has to offer. Without it we are empty, sad, and lonely. No job or bank account, no thrilling business deal can make that go away.
Take stock of your life. How much are you investing in the “little things” that bring the real happiness we were all created for? Find the right balance. Take the time to stop and get off the merry-go-round for a bit. Slow down and love.
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. Galatians 5:13
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. 1 Peter 1:22
For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 1 John 3:11
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. Romans 8:5