Tuesday, June 14, 2005

"Wanting More" -- Part 2

I am the parent of three children, the husband of one wife, and the pastor of a medium size congregation. And during the course of an average day in my life, all three of these want more from me than I'm presently giving at any given moment in time. My kids want more of my attention and express their desire for such by acting out (it took me til the third kid to figure this out). My wife wants more of my time so that I can finish the unfinished projects around my house. Occasionally, she just wants more of my attention too (she also sometimes communicates this by acting out). On almost a daily basis, members of my congregation want me to be more accessible to their present pain and they too communicate this need by acting out (I just learned this last year).

Perhaps my experience is unusual. I doubt it. I suspect that most people deal with the stresses and strains that accompany the complicated web of relationships in their lives similar to me. Sometimes my life is primarily focused on how I can spread myself a little thinner to accomodate everyone's wishes. When I am fixated on "giving more", it is easy for me to become cranky, tired, and cynical about the most important relationships in my life. But, I have recently discovered that the best way to avoid the temptation of being stretched all over the place by every whim and need is by giving myself permission to "want more" in return.

On my best days, I want more of God. I want more opportunity to nurture my relationship with my children by playing catch or discussing the latest Junior High gossip. I want more time with my wife when we're both not dead on our feet and negotiating who will take which child where next. I want more from my church than they are prepared to offer most of the time. I used to think the perfect life consisted of equal amounts of giving and wanting, but experience teaches me that this is hardly ever so. As a result, some days I want more than I give. And other days, I give more than I want. And in the meantime, I have a new appreciation for the words of Jesus when he says, "come all who labor and are heavy laden...and I will give you rest" I believe him.


At 10:50 PM, Blogger Scot McKnight said...

Nice piece Brad. Thanks.

At 6:56 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Like a good snapshot, you captured a feeling of both the rising flood and escape on higher ground. Good words.


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