I don’t do a great job of maintaining relationships. I can talk a good game but in the end I do a much better job of maintaining distractions than I do in actually sharing my life with people. In fact, if I don’t see you on a regular basis there’s a good chance I won’t really do a good job of keeping up with you.
Most of my relationships are geographic
I seem to do the best job of maintaining relationships with those I see regularly. This works well with my wife, my colleagues at work, and my fellow parishioners. But it doesn’t work nearly as well with people who aren’t in my regular weekly routine. Because of that, I tend to focus on my relationships in this order:
- My amazing wife
- Friends and colleagues I see regularly
- My parents
- Everybody else
The problem with that is that far too many of my very close friends are ending up in the “Everybody else” category.
This is to my detriment because I’ve done a very poor job of keeping up with some close friends of mine. Those where we used to interact regularly but aren’t in my weekly circle any more. Some of them have been friends for years and have poured wisdom, spiritual insight, and love into my life. In fact one was the closest of my friends for several years and lives only a few miles away, yet we now have trouble even scheduling time to hang out. But it gets worse.
Even my brother rarely gets a phone call from me. I might read his blog and follow him on Twitter but that’s not the same as spending time with him or talking with him. That’s a huge loss for me because my brother is intelligent, spiritual, and reads a lot of books I haven’t had time to read.
The Gospel is relational
This problem in my life (and – dare I say it – our lives) is much bigger than not experiencing a particular relationship. It’s a huge problem because the Gospel is relational. Because God is relational. And if we’re not behaving relationally, we are not doing a very good job of living the Gospel.
There, I said it. Now, what can we do about it?
I’m trying to do better.
Over the past couple of months I’ve been much more intentional about scheduling time to get together with people. Some who have been friends for a long time. Some who are growing into a place of deeper friendship. But I sure have some room to grow.
So, if I haven’t done a good job of being a friend to you, I’m sorry. Please let me know and I’ll try to do better.
How about you?
How well are you maintaining your relationships?
Are you losing ground on any important relationships?
Do you have any suggestions for me?