Christmas has always been one of my favorite times of year, despite the cold weather, but for the last couple years, there has been an anxiety that creeps up on me that I have never really been able to explain. Last night, I came in from shopping for groceries for the week and I stooped down to the couch in tears. My wife just let me weep on her shoulder for a moment, which was much appreciated, and I let the feelings come forth that had been knocking at my door all day.
The holidays are a time of gifts and busyness and stress for many, and I have made a conscious effort to avoid letting it come to that. This year, after family was gone and all the presents had been unwrapped, and I realized that it was all over, I felt exceedingly empty. For the longest time, I have been afraid to admit what the problem was, and I think, as I told my wife, I am ready to talk about it.
People need people....and...People need freedom to be with their people.
We had the opportunity to hop on skype briefly with my brother and sister-in-law in the Hamptons and my brother and his wife in Maryland, and that kept my emotions at bay, but the simple truth was that I was not satisfied with just a few minutes. We never are really. Can you think of a time that you just wish that there were no jobs and no appointments and no commitments. Do you ever wish that you could just have more time?
Well, I am right there with you. A similar feeling came when I got a text message from my mom in Texas letting me know she wished she could be with us. It was an angst that I could not quench and that made everything seem so unfair. "Why couldn't it be like in high school and college when we got a month off for break? Do I really have to go in to work tomorrow?"
There's a reason that it seems so unfair. We crave relationships. We crave liberty to pursue those relationships. What if there was a way to have time for family whenever you wanted? What if there was a way to please God doing it? What if it also enhanced your faith, family, and finances? That would be a pursuit I could spend myself in.
Careers are great for a lot of people, don't get me wrong, but I would be willing to bet that most people, if offered the opportunity to have the end result of a job without having to spend time away from their families for 50 hours a week, would take it in an instant. I think any honest man could admit it. Even if you love your job or career, you know that it takes you away from the ones you love most.
Melissa and I have been rather successful in every job that we have held, but I earnestly pray for the glory of God and of the Kingdom that we do not spend another 2 years working in the job world. Whatever we do will be for His glory, but honestly, we love family entirely too much to give another ten thousand hours toward something that does not end in freedom. Our family and our God deserve more.
Maybe you feel the same, maybe not, but there came a point where I had to admit that the job that I was doing wasn't getting the job done. I hope you'll honestly consider if your career or job is getting you where you want to be in your spiritual life, with your loved ones, and even with the dollar bill. If not, why not?
Something that will help us is to get some feedback. We are inspired by the dreams of others. I want you to paint me a picture, even if it's just a sentence of what that Dream looks like. Be specific. These word pictures are given by God because He can empower you to fulfill them. God does not endue dreams that he cannot equip us for. Don't quit on those dreams.
What does freedom mean to you? (post below)