Don’t expect to nurture the people and relationships in your life by merely offering them the crumbs of your time- what’s left of you and your days when the things that are most pressing are done. Make the people who love you and care about you a priority, not an option.

Is it just me, or does everyone seem to be in a frenzy of action and activity these days? It seems that we barely catch our breath from one moment to the next, barely capturing the memories that we say we are making with all the events that we are trying to be a part of. Some even seem to have the twisted notion that once its posted on Facebook and received a “like” or two, the activity has been validated.

We work more hours to meet expectations and demands of people and organizations whose only affirmation of our job well done is higher expectations and more demands. And we think this makes us and our jobs important, when really, it often serves to crowd out the people who are standing on the sidelines, waiting to hand us a cold cup of water or a hot cup of coffee. The same with our hobbies- the sports, clubs, civic groups, service projects- anything that serves to so overflow our schedules that our friends and families are left only with the crumbs of our time.

The crumbs are the time when we’re tired and crabby and just want a bath and a little winding down time before we fall into an exhausted sleep.  Sadly, that’s usually the time that we give to the people we say that we care about.

When your workday is over, or even before it begins, how do you connect with the people who love you and who care about you? The people who want to spend time with you?

We show these people where they measure up in our lives by the time that we invest in our relationships with them. No wonder so many relationships crumble and end. No wonder loneliness is epidemic despite the fact that unseen friends are always available to us through so-called social media.

You see, not only are our relationships nurtured by the time that we invest with our loved ones, but so are our souls. We need one another- the real-life connection, not the pseudo-connections online. We need to connect face-to-face, eye-to-eye, hand-in-hand. And we need this everyday, not just on special occasions, not just when the schedule dies down a bit and we need something to fill the void of activity. It is the lack of the presence of other people in our lives, and not the lack of busy-ness that leaves our souls weary and famished; it leaves us with nowhere to turn when we are confused or disappointed or devastated by the storms of life.

I’ve encountered many people who don’t understand why they can’t find anyone who will commit to them in a relationship. But after a little while, it becomes quite obvious. It is because they expect the impossible- that someone will commit unconditionally to them while only being offered the crumbs.  People don’t like crumbs- that’s why we brush them off the table and into the trash. There’s not enough in a crumb to offer any satisfaction, any nourishment.

This truth has become so obvious to me, but unfortunately, it eludes so many people: You can’t expect to nurture the people and relationships in your life, including your relationship with Christ, by merely offering them the crumbs of your time- what’s left of you and your days when the things that are most pressing are done. Make the people who love you and care about you a priority, not an option. Life is too short to miss this. The people we take for granted can be taken from us in a heartbeat. Don’t try to nourish them with crumbs- give them your best. Give them you.