I spent some time today reading past journals and was struck by the ongoing ups and downs of the relationships in my life. One thing's for sure, relationships are hard work. The work can be painful, but the alternative; surface, inauthentic relationships; is unthinkable. Staying connected is essential, as some of my friends remind me when I'm distracted by life. Without it, friendship, or a marriage relationship, withers on the vine. Sometimes you have to fight the forces arrayed against connecting regularly; busy schedules, the tendency to drift into isolation or intense work situations. It's possible to live together in a marriage but never connect below the superficial level; in fact that probably happens a lot.
I see a parallel in the ongoing struggle to "stay connected" as a couple and with friends, with my relationship with God. I can invite him into my day, "spend time with him" in devotions and prayer - yet not really look into his eyes, pay attention and commune. As painful as this is in any relationship, and it is a terrible settling for second best, it is even more tragic in my relationship with the One who fashioned me in my mother's womb, who knows every hair on my head, and who longs that I be present to him - aware, paying attention.
Being a better friend, mother, wife, sister, grandmother, child of God - these are never ending quests. Relationship with God and with others is really all that matters and an investment that is more important than anything else.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to be attentive to you. I want to know you, to hear the whisper of your voice, be aware of your Presence, your plan for my day, my life. I will miss so much if I don't invest the effort in our relationship and I don't want to miss one thing that you want to show me or tell me. Please help me in all of my relationships to be present, to care in action as well as intent.
Philippians 3:7-8 (New International Version)
7But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.