August 22, 2009
"It's not a religion, it's a relationship." That's a very true statement that's become a catch-phrase for Christians. It's true, but it irritates me. Partly, I'm sure, because it's cliche. Almost any good song goes bad if you hear it on the radio too much. More likely it irritates me because you usually see it on bumper stickers and those silky banners they hang up in church. Jesus marketing 101. It's embarrassing! I'm writing this as much for me as anyone, because it IS true and belongs somewhere besides the silky banners. Someone somewhere makes those things for a living and I don't know how they sleep at night.
It is a relationship and, quite frankly, mine sucks. I don't always sleep so well at night either. Maybe I should chat at night with the silky banner guy. No sense in us both being up for nothing. Maybe we can help each other remember what this relationship is supposed to look like. I had a thought last night about what it is NOT supposed to look like and I wanted to share it.
We cheat on God. I don't think it's so much the way a husband would cheat on a wife as it is that we aren't like husband and wife at all. We find ourselves acting more like God is our employer. Whenever He's "not around", not in our awareness, we don't worry so much about the things He told us the last time we saw Him. We can act, more or less, the way we want to as long as it's not around God. We're always around God, of course, but I hope you know what I mean. It becomes about what we can get away with. I can get away with an awful lot lately. I'm in a new town with a new schedule and I'm not often required to remember. It seems like the boss doesn't check my work at all.
It's different with my wife. I've never had a closer friend in my life. I live for her whether or not she checks my work. I spend time with her because I want to. I do what's best for her because I love her. What flows between us is beautiful because, for each of us, it's always about other. It's relationship. This is what God wants. This is where the banners were right.
"Jesus, help me. Come into this place and sit with me. I want to know you like this. Lord, help us to spend time with you and know who you really are, only for the sake of knowing. I love you, Jesus. "