Are you 'making time' for relationships?
It’s a funny phrase, isn’t it? “Making time.” I mean you can’t really “make time” can you? A person can make a sweater, or they can make dinner, or they can make a sculpture. But no one can “make time.”
Isn’t time the same for all of us? Every single one of us has exactly 525,600 minutes in a year.
But we live in a ‘rat-race’ society. We rush. We run. We work. We clean. We sleep. We eat. We exercise. And we do this all, not only for ourselves, but for our families. Whether that is for our extended family, caring for elderly parents or relatives; or for our immediate family, caring for spouses and children.
Everyone has their own calendar. Dad has one. Mom has another. Children each have their own. And then each calendar has to be overlaid one on another so that some kind of intricate delivery system can be in place so that everyone will be dropped off and picked up on time at multiple locations.
Oh … and they have to eat too. Sometimes it seems that family is little less than controlled chaos. And then at the end of the day, some people ask themselves, “Why do I feel so alone?” “Why don’t my parents listen to me?” “Why doesn’t my spouse understand what I’m going through?”
This is why we need to “make time.” What does this mean? It means prioritizing. To “make time” means protecting what is truly important in your life and jettisoning everything else that compromises it. Like sailors on a ship getting swamped by waves throw cargo overboard, so too, families being swamped by the pressures and anxieties of a “rat-race” world need to throw out all events that are threatening a well-balanced life. We “make time” when we set priorities and protect them.
And what are these priorities? Well, basically, they are relationships. It is our relationships that make us truly happy. Yet the unbalanced search for pleasure, power or pride can cause us to put our relationships on the back burner. When we make relationships our priority, we organize our events and commitments in reference to our relationships.
So, as we near this summer, give yourself and your family permission to make relationships your priority. In essence, this means to rest and recreate with one another. To rest doesn’t mean to sleep, it means “making time” to replenish your relationships. Rest could mean going to the park, going to the zoo, going skiing or simply going for a walk. But no matter what activity you choose, the point is not what you are doing; it is the people whom you are doing it with. Rest also means prayer: our relationship with God. People often see Mass as a duty, as “another thing that gets in the way of my day.” Yet the Church refers to prayer as a “mid-day moment of rest” (Liturgy of the Hours). And even Jesus says, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31) An essential part of a well-balanced life is “making time” for God and understanding that that time is truly rejuvenating. As the book of Hebrews says, “Let us make every effort to enter into that rest.” (Heb 4:11) So “make time” this summer to rest with family, friends and God.