Wednesday, September 11, 2013

40 Days to Better: Day 10

On Monday, when I wrote about distractions, I wrote the following:
"Avoid being distracted from my focus on my marriage.  Nothing--not my running, not my best friends, nothing should distract me from that."
As part of my "road to better," sometimes what I need to do is think harder about past statements and work to clarify when necessary.

The statement that I made after my run on Monday could be taken as a statement against the importance of friendship.  But that would be about as correct as reading last Sunday's Catholic church gospel reading (Luke 14:25-33) where it talks about hating your father and mother (and many other family relations) to be a disciple.  That Gospel reading is never interpreted literally in my experience.  It is about putting discipleship first--and then making sure that the rest of life fits in.

That, putting marriage first and avoiding distractions, was what that part of my blog entry Monday was about after my rant about distracted driving.

What is also interesting to me is showing how this fits with a friend's recent comment (I always like connecting dots in my life--thus the name of the blog site).  My friend commented that in the most recent part of her life she has made sure to surround herself with friends who value her opinion.

I think that avoiding distraction (particularly to things like marriage, fitness, and work) is about surrounding myself with individuals who support my pursuits.  So, my comment on Monday should not be taken to say "ignore friends" but instead should be taken to say "surround myself with friends who support the importance of my marriage."  That, I have done.  In fact, I can honestly say that it would be a challenge at this point to describe just how important being surrounded by friends who support my marriage is--as I was able to turn to many when my life was chaotic after I first moved into my new job in April and my life and marriage were stressed.  With the support of many friends, the patience of my wonderful wife, and effort from me and Sherry, we are moving forward in a very positive way.

While this would be an acceptable place to finish the thought on this blog entry, this brings me to the first of several pieces of wisdom from Fr. Sam Lupico from a catechist workshop that happened on Sunday.  His piece of wisdom was from an old Latin phrase that he used to teach but I don't recall the Latin.  The gist was "you can't give what you don't have."  My friend's comment was about one way that someone showed that her opinion was valued.  For me, the question is how do people show their commitment to my pursuits.  It doesn't mean that I only surround myself with individuals who are married and whose marriages are perfect to lend me support in keeping my marriage strong.  Rather, it means that the people with whom I surround myself are people who are valued in their relationships and people who want to share that value (and their insights on that value) with others.  

I will write more about Fr. Sam's wisdom (both this point and others) over the coming days on my continuing "road to better."  

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