As we emerge from the lockdowns and limited living of the past year, Jenni and I feel the pace of life getting faster. More commitments. More events. Make-up medical appointments. The desire to finally go and do after a year of being more-or-less shut-in. Freedom!
An Inch Deep and a Mile Wide
You’ve probably heard the expression “an inch deep and a mile wide.” It refers to our human propensity to skim the surface of things, of many different things, rather than exploring fewer things in greater depth. As life spins back up, there is a temptation (and what feels like a necessity) to only touch things lightly and move on.
As our attentions become more divided, our desire for instant and effortless gratification pushes us toward an evermore hectic existence. Life begins to feel like a ride on Disney World’s Space Mountain, as we careen through the darkness, each endeavor popping into view for only a brief instant before the next thing steals our attention.
Maybe “careening through the darkness” describes your life as of late. The pressure to go-go-go and get things accomplished can suck much of the enjoyment out of things that we would otherwise find enjoyable. The hectic pace can give way to an undercurrent that causes us to question whether we should be focusing on something else instead of whatever we are currently doing. What am I forgetting? What am I missing?
What Are You Missing?
We just launched our YouTube Channel (check it out if you haven’t!). We just wrapped up leading a 13 weeks marriage small group. We recently released our new “Intimate Connections” couple’s course (highly recommended!). On top of all the marriage ministry and post-COVID craziness, we are working on some major home renovations. I definitely find myself feeling an “inch deep and a mile wide” these days, and I constantly feel like I’m missing something important.
And I have been. Only it’s not another task.
As I was wrangling my massive to-do list today, I was reminded by a whisper from the Holy Spirit how important it is not to let my task-oriented scramble for accomplishment keep me from going deeper with the two things that are my anchor: my relationship with Jesus and my marriage.
I have to remember not to simply give surface-level treatment to these two key areas of my life; to not merely touch them and move on; to not simply add them to my to-do list so I can check them off.
When I fail to be attentive to a deep, intimate connection to both my bride and my Savior, then I become un-tethered from the very things that feed my heart and soul the most.
Living deeper with my wife
I want to give our relationship the time and the attention needed for us to stay intimately connected. It means talking about more than just our busy schedules, ministry tasks, and remodeling plans, but talking about stuff that really matters. It means paying attention to how Jenni is doing and whether our marriage is getting pushed aside by our busyness.
We need to take time to be totally present with each other – touch, be quiet, and just exist in the same space. It means taking time for sexual intimacy, even when we are tired and distracted. It means not just saying a quick prayer together but spending time before the Lord, listening, receiving together from him, and speaking life to each other.
It means being willing to let a few things go to take care of our relationship.
Living deeper with Jesus
Lately, I’ve been carving out time for marriage ministry in the early mornings (I am still working at a full-time day job). For a while, I was starting this time with prayer, worship, and scripture. Lately, as I felt the pressure of feeling like I’m behind on everything, I’ve tended to skip the quiet time and jump straight into work. Sure it’s ministry work, but it’s not a substitute for focused time with God.
Truthfully, as life spins up, I know I need to stay deeply rooted in Jesus. I need time in His presence, to worship and seek Him. I need to take time to ask for His perspective on the craziness of my life and to get my assignments and priorities from him. I need to center myself in a Kingdom perspective that will set my soul at peace in the middle of the swirling storm of daily life.
Staying deeply connected to Jenni and Jesus is more than the stuff of obligation or duty. These are the very things of life!
So let me encourage you, as life spins back up. Go deep with the two most important relationships in your life.