Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long
a time and you still do not know me, Philip?”
From John 14:9
I shouldn’t have taken the comment to heart, but I did. My friend, who was under some serious duress himself, noted that others in our company joined him in questioning the amount of time I spend on “church stuff”. Because he was going through his own tough times, I should have let it go. Still, after we parted, I gave a good deal of thought to what I do and how it affects those around me.
The truth is that I’d already curtailed the time spent on my parish activities. I had said “no” in response to many requests in order to accommodate my own family, my extended family and my friends. I have held onto only those things which only I can do. I do what I do to keep others from experiencing some of the same suffering that this friend and those whom I love have endured.
In the end, I realized that my friend didn’t mean to hurt me, just as I don’t mean to hurt my loved ones by giving time to the things I consider to be important. Perhaps if I share the reasons I do what I do, all concerned will understand.
Gracious God, fill my friend with the energy he needs to face the strife in his life. Gift me with the wisdom to spend my time where it is needed most.
©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved