Last night, Joe and I went out to dinner with some friends from Raleigh. The husband is a former co-worker of mine - we shared an office, but we also shared similar tastes in music and had similar interests in religious and spiritual things. So, we've kept up through the years. The wife is a Presbyterian minister - well, she'll be a retired Presbyterian minister as of tomorrow. They drove here, and we had a nice dinner at one of our favorite local hang-outs.
The thing is...we saw them last December right after Christmas. We promised to get together more, maybe even once a month. And, guess what? Last night was the first time since then that we've all seen each other. Time goes so fast, doesn't it?
So, I started thinking. What have I done this year that has truly prohibited me from keeping up with friends? I really could not come up with much. The truth of the matter is that we did not get together because nobody took the initiative to make the call and the reservation. That led me to further reflections about spiritual things - keeping up with God, for instance - and what a lousy job I do with that sometimes. Sometimes, I just want to wrap up in my snuggie and do nothing. And, that's ok sometimes. That's what I did the week after Christmas, and it was wonderful. I needed the rest. The problem comes when snuggie land is more appealing than real life! The problem comes with trivial things rank higher on my calendar than relationships or God.
So, during this past Advent, I decided to be serious about carving out space and time for God. I took the initiative...every day, I took the initiative. Got a new book that helps me - called "Openings" by James Peacock. Started journaling again - and changed the way I pray. After just a few weeks, it's not work anymore. It is something that I want to do.
Of course, I should not be surprised.
Our friends usually take the time together when we express an interest.
And, God usually shows up (in God's time, of course) when I take the initiative.
So, this year, I'm still going to keep up with my responsibilities. But, I'm going to be careful with my time. I am committed to taking the initiative this year to spend time with God...and with old friends.