Already March. Were you ready for that?! Things keep coming at us fast. Hopefully, you will get a chance to take a break and breathe in the rest of Christ this weekend.
A couple of items worth thinking through this week. Not a lot in the way of articles but some perspective from my roles as pastor and father.
First up is a tweet from Dan White Jr. A pastor and author with a forthcoming book on love. Dan tweeted a reflection from counseling that struck a chord on the Twittersphere, certainly with pastors.
Ghosting is essentially disappearing from someone’s life. You avoid them, you don’t communicate, not texts, calls or interaction on social media or more importantly, non-digital life.
I have been a pastor for nearly ten years and my experience is much the same. It is a strange vocation and since it is people-oriented role, meeting, becoming friends, and eventually losing people is normative. But it doesn’t make it any easier.
The hard bits are when it happens seemingly without cause. I get it if I was harsh or drove someone away, but even when you labor to care for someone and they vanish it can leave you broken.
I have even had people who have made a verbal commitment to commit and stand alongside me in ministry disappear over the years. My personality make-up doesn’t get as affected by it as some others but it is noticeable.
So maybe the take away is that we generally should try to avoid ghosting people, be open to deep relationships and allow our pastors to be among them.
And it goes both ways, sometimes pastors “ghost” people. As I was reminded by a young man who once served at my previous church. We shall call him “Marques.” Of course, he wasn’t ghosted since I stay in contact with him and even bought him burritos once when he visited San Diego! While moving away can feel like ghosting, hopefully, you have farewell parties to make the separation anything but a surprise!
Next up, and more importantly, is anxiety. And specifically anxiety in our kids. We have dealt with this in our home and are always on the search for solutions and ways of avoiding it. I am looking forward to some forthcoming work by Jessica Thompson to apply the gospel to kids and anxiety. It is everywhere and as a PTA member, I talk to parents about it all the time.
This article from John Thornton in January on Vox was super helpful to me. And the big takeaway is that kids carry their parents’ economic stress. From the burden of planning their futures so young and living with parents struggling to pay off debt and thrive in this economy can be too much.
I know first hand this is real, when my oldest daughter was in second grade she submitted a report at school that one of the things she feared was “taxes.” Clearly, she got that from me complaining about money and fearing taxes myself (which I am reminded I need to work on!)
Hear what Thornton has to say. Love your kids. Free them from some of these burdens. And live.