When you're building a
friendship, there's a lot of give and take. Phone calls, lunches, little
trips; they all have the goal of getting to know someone better. The
hope is that this person will be a companion, a fellow traveler in life.
Most people won’t invest the
time it takes, unless there is hope of a deepening relationship. It’s
frustrating to keep reaching out and sharing yourself with someone who will not
respond the same way.
Personal strategies toward
developing friendships, often get carried over to ideas for deepening a
relationship with God. Increased prayer and praise, volunteering for projects at
church, and more donations will all result in a richer, deeper relationship with God, right? He won't ignore all of that effort.
Well, that’s how it works
with people. So I think that’s how it works with the Lord too. But the truth is, in spite
of all the good works, I still may not be moving as fast as I would like, to a closer relationship with
God. And that’s disheartening.
But the Lord doesn't want me to be sad. There are just a couple of truths I need to remember.
A: I don’t call the shots in the relationship.
God controls my progress in
faith. He knows what road is best for me. It might be bumpy; he might be
silent. But it will lead to my deepening commitment to reach out to him.
Maybe the way won't be smooth
and clear, but it’s mine. I’d love my relationship with the Lord to be
on the fast track. There are always people who seem to be speeding toward knowledge of
But for me? It’s usually three steps forward, two steps back.
I’d rather be at the Daytona 500, but God
seems to enjoy
watching me learn to samba.
I read somewhere that
holiness is constant acceleration. Not constant speed. Go forward, yes. But don’t
worry about the velocity. I got that covered. The Lord wants me to sway across
that dance floor. Speed won’t be an issue.
B: I am human, so I am not perfect.
If I were given all
knowledge and wisdom of him, would I even understand it? The Apostles spent
three years with Jesus, but they still had trouble understanding what the heck
he was saying half the time.
They were there when Christ
healed the sick, made the lame walk, and even know when a fish would have a
coin in it’s mouth to pay the Temple tax.
But they were still stumped with the question: “Who do you say I am?”
The silence after that
question (before Peter answered it with the considerable help of the Spirit)
was deafening. If they couldn't grasp the whole truth, I'm sure I wouldn't either. It's much better for the Lord to treat me like the that child I am.
C: I can’t change A or B.
So I guess I’ll just be over
here in the corner, practicing my new dance steps. I don’t get very far, or
very fast, but that’s ok. As long as I’m making progress, I’ll be fine.
Labels: faith, friendship, relationship