Keeping in touch

Military who travel or who are deployed, corporate “road warriors” who spend most of their work week out of town, and similar people are especially challenging to keep connected with.  It requires purposeful prioritization and mindfulness by both parties, and it is sometimes difficult, but well worth the effort.  I recall some of my most difficult moments, my loneliest times were as a junior Navy Officer on deployment.  How much the letters and $90 phone calls from Sigonella, Sicily meant to my morale and welfare!  Technology helps a great deal today with many options: Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, etc.  Even Navy ships at sea today often provide options for direct face-to-face communications with friends and loved ones.  The key problem is desire, planning and prioritization, on both ends of the communications link.  It is so easy to slip into a habit of not commmunicating, or a perfunctory check in the block “hello.”  Marriages suffer and friendships fade because of physical separation.  There are no easy solutions to physical separation, but the desire and effort to maintain a connection is perhaps the most important aspect.  We care enough about that person, that friend, that loved one, to make the effort.  If we do, they will sense it and it will help sustain them in the face of temptations and loneliness, and it will make a difference and it will build rather than diminish the relationship.  Regular, consistent, meaningful communications, especially during times of personal trials, can strengthen a relationship.  Think the Apostle Paul and his letters to the emerging church.  Think prayer and our relationship with God…

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