“Let us remember this in our lives as Christians: God always waits for us, even when we have left him behind! He is never far from us, and if we return to him, he is ready to embrace us.”
On a recent back-to-back Zoom marathon with a parish, I became a little more exasperated than usual as the group went in circles for the umpteenth time on a topic we had been discussing for weeks. "We just need more time for people to get there," said one leader. Forgetting my facilitator hat, I replied quickly, "I don’t think we have any more time." Catching myself, I took them back to our process and we gained consensus on our next steps. As I signed off and looked at my calendar, I was relieved that I had 40 minutes before my next Zoom with one of our supporters. Taking a second look at the meeting, I realized it was actually a lunch meeting…in person…45 minutes away! I grabbed my keys, bolted out the office door and gave thanks that I was wearing my sneakers. Then I realized I was wearing my sneakers! My "zoom casual" attire (business on top, comfort on the bottom) was not going to match my normal outfit for this type of meeting. As I weaved in and out of traffic, pleading with my GPS to decrease the amount of time it was predicting until my destination, I realized just how out of practice I was at accounting for travel time.
For more than a year, I’ve been used to living a life that has been confined to a 5-mile radius. With practically no work travel for the past year, and the kids’ schools, parish, and even the office within five minutes of my home, it’s been striking how distant my former rhythm feels as I begin making travel plans again for the fall. The same could be true for some of my relationships. In the reality of our last 14 months in which practically every interaction has needed to be purposeful in order for it to happen, am I out of habit in remembering that others may need some time to arrive at whatever that destination or decision or direction might be? The Lord gives us a lifetime to reach Him. How long am I willing to give others? How long am I willing to give myself? As we get back to moving, let’s remember that moving the heart might take longer than popping up in a tile on a computer screen. Prayers of gratitude that my lunch guest also showed up in sneakers and prayers for wherever or however you are trying to move closer to the Lord this week.