I am currently doing an online/email discussion group with some friends. The topic is growing closer in our relationship with God; growing deeper spiritually in our relationship, etc. Obviously prayer is a huge element in this equation. In Christian lingo we are often asked how our prayer time is going with God. Do we have daily devotions? Do we spend time consistently with Him; do we pray often, daily, etc. I think we are missing the mark. Let me explain.
As we are discussing and as I am chewing (thinking) on different elements I am beginning to see that you cannot lump all those questions into one category. Each of those mentioned above and some not mentioned are different elements of our relationship. For instance – as I look at my friendships with others I see areas of strength and weakness. Unfortunately both with God and with others I see more weaknesses than strengths in my life. The biggest weakness is time. How can we expect to have a relationship with anyone without spending time with them? It is more than being in the same room, it is conversation, it is sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly in our lives. Those are not only beginning steps to developing a good friendship they must be on-going to keep the relationship alive and active. I don’t know how many times I have heard it said, and many times by me, “I don’t know where the time goes”. I meant to call, I meant to email, I meant to pray and I meant to read my Bible … I meant too… I meant too. And we wonder why the relationship is not what it once was, or could have been, or is no more.
These factors apply to all relationships; the relationship with our creator God, our marriage relationship, if married, our children, our parents, our siblings, those who are significant in our lives, etc. I know how I feel when someone shares with me they meant to call but time just seemed to get by them, or life happened. It sort of smarts as if somehow the relationship doesn’t really matter. It is almost as if the relationship’s an obligation rather than a joyful wanting. I can’t help but wonder how God must feel when I treat my relationship with Him in much the same way.
Don’t misunderstand; I forgive my friends; I totally understand. Life does happen and times does slip away. And God understands too. He is gracious, forgiving and will wait for eternity if need be. But oh, what I miss by not taking advantage of the here and now. Time does slip away and we won’t always have it. Death will come, friends and loved ones will die, and our lives will be changed forever and so will the friendships we have.
I don’t want to have regrets of I meant to call, I wish I had, I meant to send a card, I meant to pray; I meant too, I meant too, I meant too. I am going to be devoted (100% committed) to doing better. Yes, I will fail. And, yes life will sometimes get in the way; hopefully I will find myself saying, “I sure do miss our times together” rather than “I meant too, but…”
Until next time – Be encouraged,