When people ask how things are, many of us normally say something like, “Things are busy!” We all have to balance school, sports, work, family, date nights (man, I’m bad at this), and somehow keeping the house clean. I can’t begin to explain how many times I do dishes and laundry when I fully realize it pales in comparison with what my wife does. HOW IS THERE SO MUCH LAUNDRY?!

So in the midst of all of this, how in the world am I supposed to make time for connection…connection with friends, family and most importantly, God? We were made to do life together. The truth is that we are better together.

A few months ago I noticed I was on Facebook a lot. I don’t even like Facebook but there I was in a zombie trance of scrolling. It hit me amidst the weight loss videos, endless pictures of kids, and ridiculous ads: I was missing connection.

The American Psychological Association has published its “Stress In America” survey. They found the majority of Americans recognize their stress exceeds levels necessary to maintain good health. The most frequent reason they cite for not addressing the problem? Being too busy. It’s a vicious cycle.

My wife and I moved to Visalia about two and a half years ago, and I realized I didn’t really have much true connection with people. But man was I busy. How was this possible? I mean, I am a pastor at a church, so I am around people constantly. Even though I had people around me constantly, I was not connecting.

So why in the world do many of us substitute connection for busyness? We are afraid of ourselves.

In America, we are defined by what we do: our careers, what we produce. It’s the first question asked at parties, and often the first tidbit of information we share with strangers. The implication is if I am not busy doing something, I am somehow less-than. Not worthy. Or at least worth less than those who are producing something.

Now, before you start to think this is just one guy’s opinion, consider a recent study published in the journal, Science. In one experiment, participants were left alone in a room for up to 15 minutes. When asked whether they liked the alone time, more than half reported disliking it.

In subsequent studies, participants were given an electric shock, and then asked if they would pay money to avoid being shocked again. Not surprisingly, most said they would trade money to avoid pain. However, when these same people were left alone in a room for 15 minutes, nearly half chose to self-administer an electric shock rather than sit alone with their thoughts.

You read that right.

Voluntarily.

Shocking.

Let me challenge you to make time for connection. If you’ve not had a conversation go beyond, “How is work going?”, it is time to make a connection. Remember, if you want friends you will have to show yourself friendly. Set an appointment for lunch and get real in your conversation, call someone you love, be intentional in your conversations with your spouse.

WE WERE MADE FOR CONNECTION.

Proverbs 11:25
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

Proverbs 27:9
The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.

If you are craving connection, please join us at Visalia First! We love to connect people to the heart of God and to each other. Services are every Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sundays at 9 a.m., 10:45 a.m., and 12:30 p.m.