The human soul longs for intimacy and connection, yet genuine community seems to become more and more difficult to attain. Why might this be true?
There are a number of factors we could address, but let me share something I hear nearly every day.
“I don’t have enough time” is the most common statement I hear leaders say.
(I say it too.)
But the truth is, we all have the same amount of time. It’s really about the decisions we make about how to use that time, and under pressure, that’s not easy. What often suffers is time for relationships.
I recently asked a pastor to tell me his story. The story of his life. He looked at me with uncertainty. Not like he didn’t know his story, but more like he was caught off guard because no one had ever asked him to tell more than the three-minute version. When I told him I wasn’t in a hurry and I wanted the unabridged version, it seemed as though he was just presented with a sacred opportunity.
The demands of ministry can cause leaders to forfeit genuine community, and inadvertently drift toward isolation. It’s not intentional, but it seems to come with the territory. What is the path toward a healthier lifestyle?
Again, there many issues and they are complex, so perhaps it’s best to start with the foundation.
We all have a deep soul level need:
- To be seen and valued – to be noticed as an individual of worth and value is core to our self-esteem and ability to give ourselves to others.
- To connect and be in community – to experience human connection at a heart level and be in genuine relationship with others establishes a baseline for healthy human interaction.
- To be known and loved – to be known as the real you and be fully accepted, and receive the most profound gift of all, to be loved unconditionally, is truly lifegiving.
We intuitively know these things to be true, but find it challenging to consistently live them out.
Why is that?
Some of the larger issues are things like the basic human condition, the fears and insecurities we face, and the pressures life presents.
But let’s break that down to a few of the more current and practical realities that cause relationships to suffer.
And also provide insights to healthier and more enjoyable relationships.
4 Current Realities That Challenge Meaningful Relationships
1. The Tension Between the Speed of Life and the Speed of Love
The speed of life demands that we keep up. The speed of love requires that we slow down. These two realties carry a tension to manage. Which one do you surrender to most?
Leaders have to keep up. In fact, we actually need to stay out front in order to set the pace. We are also responsible to make progress. Yet, Jesus modeled the greatest of these things is love, and for that, we must slow down.
- Leading any organization to realize their mission requires the speed of life.
- Playing with your children and grandchildren requires the speed of love.
However, the danger in these two statements is they paint a simplistic perspective.
Life doesn’t allow itself to be neatly compartmentalized. The challenging art is how to blend both the speed of life and the speed of love in our daily, weekly, and monthly rhythms.