Got an e-mail the other day from a friend who is a young Christian leader. He told me he was getting married. Wow, I thought. Married! I had to call him from the airport, leaving to travel to yet another city for yet another event. "When I saw your e-mail," I told him, "I thought of two words: 'wonderful' and 'complicated.' Because that's what happens with marriage, and especially later with kids, if you have them." I told him it was a lot easier when I was, as he has been for years, a single, celibate hero, free to keep everything simple, clear, and undistracted; and admired by all for your lifestyle.
Life was never as wonderful as it is now for me with Joy, Luke, and Jack. But it sure is more complicated. It has included, two of the last three nights this week, rushing to get early flights home to be in time to play catch with the boys before dark, and then put them to bed. (And one night it included playing long after dark, as they had found a glow-in-the-dark ball -- how creative for boys who can never get enough baseball!) But walking in the door now to the look of joy on their faces and the leaping hugs that almost knock me over is more satisfying than all the exciting things that happen on the road.
To find a balance between the still-deep commitments of public vocation and the private delights of family life is what is so wonderful and so complicated.
Jim Wallis is the author of Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street -- A Moral Compass for the New Economy, and CEO of Sojourners. He blogs at www.godspolitics.com. Follow Jim on Twitter @JimWallis.