My day hums along like a well-oiled machine. There have been no significant interruptions as I tackle my to-do list and that is what I call a success of a day. I cross off each item on my list and feel quite proud of myself as I make it on time to pick my kids up from school. I am stress free as I load my kids in to the van and draw them out in conversation. But there is this gnawing feeling I just can’t get rid of. I push it to the back of my mind as my second-half-of-the-day to-do list pops in to my mind. Homework, soccer, dinner, baths and bedtime.
But in the quiet of night this feeling wiggles it’s way in to my mind once again and I begin to see what I have left stranded in the wake of my day.
I have neglected Community. Fellowship. Time for friends and potential friends.
You see. I am not one to linger.
I am the first to race away from the bus stop the moment it pulls away, already mentally moving on to my next task.
I am the one cleaning up the refreshments from our neighborhood gathering at the precise time the invitation said the party would end. I am a slave to the clock.
But if I am being really honest, it is not just my punctuality and my chronic to-do list that forces me to hang my invisible “do not disturb” sign on my back.
It is my insecurity. I could blame this insecurity on our military lifestyle and the fact that more times than not, I am the newbie in the group. But the fact of the matter is, this insecurity sprouted and took root long before the military was part of my life.
I am by nature a shy person and making and keeping friends takes initiative. It takes me stepping out of my comfort zone and asking someone over for coffee. Sure, it takes time and effort but it also takes vulnerability. And in this military life of coming and going, this continual vulnerability and possibility of rejection paralyzes me. So I don’t.
And I sit back and wait and hope and pray someone invites ME! And sometimes they do. But other times they don’t.
A popular saying floating around the military community is: “bloom where you are planted.” Some days it just takes to much energy to bloom. It takes a lot of hard work to water those seeds, and prune those branches. And I want someone else to do the work.
So I clutch my insecurities tight to my chest and lean in to my laziness.
And then I see it. I look in my rear view mirror and see a whole lot of missed opportunity.
I see the lost opportunity to encourage a young neighbor in her crazy toddler-toting days. I was to busy.
I see the girl that could become a friend, but I was too afraid to ask.
I see the friend drifting away because I have said no to her invitations one to many times.
So I set out tomorrow to live fully engaged.
I take my eyes off of myself and my own insecurities and focus on what the Lord is capable of doing in and through me.
I purposefully look for opportunity to invite one person this week in to a one on one conversation/activity with me.
I am intent on investing in the lives of those around me.
Today, I have proactively removed my “Do not Disturb” sign so that my life can begin to read “Friends are Welcome Here.”
Are you racing from day to day, to busy to notice what and who are around you? What can you do this week to stop, connect and invest?