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Archive for March 1st, 2010

The past week I was officiating a ceremony for a couple who’s interests (well, at least the groom’s anyway) was centered around the sport of softball.  With spring coming on and the weather in the Puget Sound area looking better and better by the day, thoughts are frequently turning toward ballfields everywhere.

As an illustration I produced a softball from a bag concealed on the platform.  Interesting how all the competition, excitement, and social activites stemming from the sport originate from that little ball. 

Those that play or have played softball remember from our earliest years the most fundemental skill taught to us; “keep your eye on the ball.”  Whether beginner or season veteran of the game, it is imperitive that we focus on this most important element.  Both batting and fielding are dependent on it.  Lose sight of the that little globe and you know what happens; not getting a square hit or even missing the ball completely at the plate, or seeing the ball skip over your glove as a fielder.  There are plenty of distractions as well; as a hitter, thinking more of taking the first steps toward base or where you want to place the hit, or as a fielder seeing the runner out of the corner of your eye or trying to begin your throw before you actually have the ball firmly in your glove. 

In marriage it’s so easy to forget over time the most important elements of our relationships and “take our eyes off of the ball.”  When we are first dating and even into the honeymoon phase of our marriages, we are concentrating 110% on each other’s desires and needs, connecting on an emotional level.  We can remember those conversations on the phone long into the night, or the letters expressing how deeply we felt for one another.

Over time and as life takes its course through the years, the natural pattern is for us to become more comfortable (nothing wrong with that in itself of course – it can also be a good thing!), and we can lose the intensity and passion of focusing on these important things.  The distractions of life (and what marriage doesn’t have them), with a growing family, personal changes and vocational challenges, can also cause us to neglect those things that were once very important in our relationships.

All longer-term relationships have faced this dynamic in one way or another.  The key is to get back to basics; to once again revisit those things that connected you on the heart-level in the first place – to simply take the time to “get to know” each other again.  Over time we change – we won’t be the same 1, 5, 10, or 50 years from now.  The same goes for our spouse – once again, discover the “keys” to their lives – find out what makes them come alive, their passions, goals, desires.  A good start is simply getting a cup of coffee and spending time sitting in front of the fire, or going out on a date.  Staying connected is a matter of the will – make a conscious decision to set aside the necessary time.

Keep your eyes on the ball – I know you can do it!

Greg

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