When I think of the word investment, I immediately think of finances and the stock market. However, there is another definition that is used commonly in church culture. Basically the idea of being involved in many different areas. Investing your time, mental energy, faith, and physical self into activities, people, or events.
I recently said the other day I was feeling burnt out, and I tried to think of why I’ve been feeling that way lately. Then I realized, I’ve invested myself in many things and people. I do have downtime, especially with the kid in school full time. I do have a good amount of time for myself.
That being said, I often use that time investing in the people around me. If I’m at the coffee shop, I’m chatting it up with the baristas and possibly the other customers. If I’m at the rock gym, I’m not just climbing but talking and building friendships with not only the employees but with the members. When I’m at church, I’m investing in my church family and my family as well. When I’m at AWANA, I’m investing in the kids and leaders.
My husband and I have spread ourselves pretty thin this year in terms of investment. We love spending time with people and getting to know them. Between coworkers, friends, family, school, our kid’s friends, it all adds up. On any given week, I’m coordinating with probably over 50 people on various tasks. Whether it’s my several climbing groups, AWANA, my small group, game group, two D&D groups, friends, and family, sometimes I get even where I’m triple booked in one day.
This isn’t a post on me being popular or doing too much. But it’s showing how even though I’m a stay at home mom with a good chunk of free time, I’m also investing myself in many different directions. Just because I spend an hour at the coffee shop every few days, doesn’t mean I’m not currently investing in the people and place there. I am. I’m an extrovert, and I love building friendships and relationships with people.
Community is what drives me. As a Christian, it’s all about relationships for me. And I don’t have an agenda. I don’t become your friend just to invite you to church. I become your friend because I care about you and I love sharing this passion with you. Whether it’s coffee or climbing or math or board games. And if I’m able to enourage and be a light to people along the way, that’s my ultimate goal.
And no, I am far from being perfect. I still get mad when I don’t send a league route. I still get annoyed if I don’t win that board game. I’m not a perfect representation of Christ. I still make mistakes. I say dumb things and I get very emotional. But as my pastor says, we are all in process. I invest in all these people and events and places because I want to share my life with so many people. I don’t want to just live in the church bubble. I want to be friends with people of all walks of life, because that’s how we grow. And I think hearing where people are and where they come from is so interesting to me.
So what’s the point of all of this? I guess it’s saying that just because someone appears to have lots of free time, doesn’t mean that their emotional, spiritual, and physical energy doesn’t get sapped from time to time. I guess it means we should all have grace and not judge people’s schedules. Everyone does life differently. Some people are homebodies and want as much home time as possible. Others love to be out and about and doing as many things as possible.
I’m a bit of a mix. I guess with my son in school full time I thought I would have more time. I do have more time, but I have less emotional time. We are involved in a lot, and though I’m constantly saying no to certain events or commitments, I also want to be open and available for a lot of people. I’ll get my break soon. Once summer hits, a lot of the things I’m involved in take a break. I won’t have recess duty or school events or Awana or everyday 3 pm pick up. Gotta keep rolling until the end of the school year.
All in all, what it comes down to, is I love people, I love spending time with people, and I wouldn’t trade my life for the world. I’m so blessed that I get to interact and be friends with so many different people.
As Iron Sharpens Iron, so we must sharpen each other.