I seem to keep coming back to this one. No matter how much I hear about it and think about it, it still seems to come to mind and continues to need my very best thinking.
Watching Liar Liar with my kids this afternoon gave plenty of opportunities to talk to them about making time for what is important and keeping your promises. I want to be a great husband and father. These two roles/relationships are of paramount importance to me. I want to be a faithful and heartfelt follower of Jesus and that requires a lot of time as well, time that is a great pleasure to devote, but which does not come naturally or easily amidst a hectic life.
I love films and want to watch and write about them a lot. I want/need regular exercise and I have a job which it is very important I do well, both as part of a dilligent work ethic and also so that I continue to receive a salary for supporting my family.
How should all of this be balanced? In an ideal world, I would not have to work, could spend the first few hours of the day in the secluded and loving company of God and then be with my wife and children the rest of the time. But it's not like that. I do have to work and I lack the application, dilligence, passion or whatever else to spend a few minutes alone with God in the morning, let alone several hours. The old cliche of "no-one ever wished on their death-bed that they had spent more time in the office" obviously applies, but I do have to work hard and do my very best, even if much of the time I'd rather not be there.
Much as I love films, being a good father and husband will take my very best efforts for the rest of my life and although a few films and a bit of film writing here and there are all well and good, my focus must be on these higher matters and I must invest in them. There is enjoyment and catharsis in writing about films and enjoying them on the big screen, but it doesn't come close to the joy of a loving, fulfilling relationship with my wife and kids. In fact, when those three key relationships are out of whack (God, Sal, kids), nothing else feels right, nothing else works and I feel no profound sense of peace.
So it comes down to priorities. Nothing wrong with going to the cinema, sitting down to a good film, writing about what I've seen, but I need to keep it in proportion. I cannot, must not, will not let anything get in the way of what I consider to be my core priorities and when I have those at the forefront of my mind, everything else that I love can be fitted into its rightful place and enjoyed as well.