These wise words, from Henri Nouwen in The Inner Voice of Love, have been reverberating in my head the last few weeks. My current role with Capital requires a fair amount of travel and long-distance collaboration. While I love the opportunity to connect with people around the country, it is critical for me to stay connected to my home base here in Indy. My family, my church family and my friends are my support network. I need to prioritize those connections for my spiritual and emotional health.
Last winter, I got caught in the whirlwind of my new position. I missed too many Sundays at my home church. I had to put off getting together with friends. I was able to prioritize time with family but I found myself feeling disconnected from the rest of my community.
This fall, I’ve made a few adjustments to ensure that I stay connected. I’ve limited extra overnights and Sunday travel so I can be home for Sunday worship and a full day of Sabbath rest. I’ve stayed engaged in ministry at church. I’ve been intentional about scheduling times to connect with friends individually or as families over a meal, dessert, or other activities. And my first priority is still my family. Dave and I have a weekly date lunch, and I make the most of time with our teenaged boys.
“It is important to remain as much in touch as possible with those who know you, love you, and protect your vocation,” Nouwen writes. “Think about your community as holding a long line that girds your waist. Wherever you are, it holds that line.” I am grateful to have such a strong community to keep me anchored even as I explore the open ocean.