‘Tis the season for flakiness, fakery, shallowness, and avoidance. Give me grace for it please. In the busy season of my career I feel burdened by many little annoyances that should be joys. Even the smallest of tasks feel instrumentally heavy for my soul. Gathering with friends, meeting new people, and keeping up with family sounds like torture – and it’s torturous effect makes me sound evil if you’re reading this. I don’t blame you. I see it too.
But truthfully, I like to go deep with people. I hate surface level relationships. And by hate, I mean I loathe them. I purposefully will make interactions shallow if I feel I won’t be able to, or do not want to, make a relationship deep and meaningful. If I’ve already established more than a rapid rapport, when life gets busy I tend to push those deep-level relationships to the margin. Maintaining them feels like they take life from me. The work to keep the vibrancy of our interactions lucid and vulnerable feel scary and suicidal.
I’m not trying to be rude. I just need more time. I want more time, but I don’t own it nor can I grasp it; so to love you well I avoid you. If I cannot give you all of me I do not want to give you any of me. I feel I only can handle the burdens of four, maybe five, real relationships in this season. I want more, but I cannot handle it without going crazy.
My career compels me to give myself to over 200 individuals per weekday, and over 100 one weekend day. I never feel I can give enough to my students and athletes so I’m driven to despair and depression most days. In my depression I fail them all the more. And somewhere along the wow I’m failing you too.
I am hopeful there is a way out of this cycle of destruction, and I know it is abiding in the gospel. Sometimes that hope just feels dark and distant – especially now.
So to my family, church, friends, and colleagues – I’m already looking forward to the latter parts of fall and winter when we can gather round Christmas trees and fireplaces, and exchange the burdens of life with each other once again.
Until then, forgive me if I’m acting distant and uninterested. Forgive me if I seem distracted and awkward. Forgive me if I’m purposefully shallow. It’s truly me and not you. Please pray that God gives me more of himself in the darkness of cluttered relationships. Please pursue me vigorously, even after I’ve cut you with my flakiness. Please give me your grace and patience – if you have any to give. If you don’t, I understand.