(A sidenote: The band at my church is rehearsing this praise song, I think it’s called “I Can Only Imagine.” I love this song; it’s one of the most lovely modern praise songs I’ve heard in a while.)
I’ve been realizing (in a bit of a “duh” moment) that I’m having such a hard time understanding what God is doing because I’m not really maintaining my relationship with Him these days. It’s hard to feel like you know and “get” someone when you’re not talking to them, not hanging out, not calling or writing.
That’s all in very human relational terms, but that’s the easiest way for me to compare and understand it. When I haven’t talked to my friends in a while or spent time with them, there’s always this little sense of distance, of not really knowing what’s going on with them or what they’re thinking about. Of course, it tends to clear up pretty quickly the next time we’re together and talking – but that’s also without any problem or issue or confusion arising in our relationship. When that happens, and you have that distance, things are harder to repair, harder to restore. You can stay feeling out of touch, out of sync, or just really upset and angry for a much longer time, and there’s always that danger that the relationship won’t get back to rights.
In another relationship analogy, I’ve been so frustrated with these guys I meet whose words say, “I’m interested, you’re cool,” but whose actions (or lack thereof) clearly say, “You’re not worth my effort.” But I’ve been doing that to God. Intellectually, verbally, I can talk about Him and how important He is and how amazing. But I won’t go out to meet Him, I won’t call to talk – or if I do, I’m always calling to complain about how much my life sucks and tell Him why He made me kind of upset. It makes me realize that the Lord has infinitely more relationship patience than I do; I’d have long since written me off as kind of an unreliable loser/user.
God’s not my friend or my boyfriend. But I think I need to ask myself a little more often: how would I expect to treat that kind of person in a relationship? And compared to that, how am I treating God? If it’s not at least the kind of relationship I’m maintaining with my friends – which is setting kind of a low bar; I’m not always the greatest friend – but if it’s not at least there, then something is awry.