Are you looking to forge a relationship with God or just merely content to link yourself to him because he’s the source of all power, wealth and glory in the universe? My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
People want to know other people for a variety of reasons. For some it’s a matter of influence and power. If you associate with people who have it, you may be able to use it to promote yourself. Then there are the people who want to know other people for material reasons. Know anybody with a lot of money? It’s always tempting, as is our human nature, to gravitate toward folks with wealth. Perhaps some of that wealth might rub off on us? Then there are the those people who want to know other people simply to fill a void, pull something from them or leach on for no good purpose. Stalkers and groupies fit into this lot. None of these are, of course, good reasons to know anyone. Becoming a part of someone else’s life ought to be motivated by our willingness to want a relationship based on both give and take. There is something special about a friend. I think C.S. Lewis nailed it when he said, “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You, too? I thought I was the only one.’’’ Friendship forges a bond of oneness that can only be found in a sense of consummate and unique sharing. It has nothing to do with money, power or fame. These forge links but not relationships.
What about God? Are you looking to forge a relationship with him or just merely content to link yourself to him because he’s the source of all power, wealth and glory in the universe? How would you like to be known by him personally? Do you see him standing over you or beside you? When you think about it, there is a huge difference in where you wish him to stand in your life.
When I was a boy there were a number of black men playing in the major leagues, but it had only been a decade or so prior when that was exceptionally rare. That is until Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball in 1946. Here’s a story. “In his first seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Jackie Robinson, the first black man to play Major League baseball, faced venom nearly everywhere he traveled–fastballs at his head, spikings on the bases, brutal epithets from the opposing dugouts and from the crowds. During one game in Boston, the taunts and racial slurs seemed to reach a peak. In the midst of this, another Dodger, a Southern white named Pee Wee Reese, called timeout. He walked from his position at shortstop toward Robinson at second base, put his arm around Robinson’s shoulder, and stood there with him for what seemed like a long time. The gesture spoke more eloquently than the words: This man is MY friend.” (Willie Morris in Parade.)
Jeremiah 45:5 states. “Should you then seek great things for yourself? Seek them not. For I will bring disaster on all people, declares the Lord, but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life.” God isn’t seeking a one-way relationship with us as he wasn’t here with King Baruch. If that were the case, why would he have created us or him in the first place. God created you and I to be in a relationship WITH him. Linking ourselves to God as an insurance policy so that we can tap into his ability to respond favorably to our prayers is loathsome to him. If that’s the only reason to love God, so that we might benefit from that love or, in the very least, not anger him to do something deleterious to us should we not believe in him, one might as well not bother. God freely offers you and I abundant grace. This is true. Nonetheless, if we don’t respond to that grace by drawing closer to him for the right reasons, we may find nothing to cling to at all.
I love that story about Pee Wee Reese. There have been many times in my life when I felt that the whole world was against me, a very lonely place to be. I believe that God is my Pee Wee Reese. Daily he puts his almighty arms around me and declares that Mark Brunner is MY friend. Why wouldn’t I want that? Why wouldn’t I love him just for that?
We pray. Thank you Lord for not just being our Creator, benefactor, guardian, and Guide, but for wanting to hold us in friendship when we so dearly need not to feel alone. Forgive us Lord, when we ask for much from you, all the while knowing that you are willing to give it, as long as we are willing to be held close to you in love. You are indeed a friend that sticks closer than a brother–the best friend there can be. May we never forget that. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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