Why is the Bible filled with stories of people? Is it really crucial to know the tendency of Abraham to lie, or to hear the story of Ehud tricking, killing, and escaping from the Midanite king? We’ve got the story of Jesus, we have the commandments, isn’t that enough?
Relationships are about shared experiences, shared values, and mutual respect. God knows that, and he wants you to relate to him through the experiences of those who have come before you, not just through the values that He puts forth in the 10 commandments or in Jesus teaching. He wants you to be able to relate to others, so that you can better relate to Him.
Hollywood knows this too. Most of their stories of love and friendship involve people stuck together for a few days. At first, the actors want to kill each other—they might even try—but in the end, they find mutual respect, they laugh through crazy shared experiences, and they find that they even have some similar values.
Many of your friendships likely formed through proximity too. Some of my closest friends are close because they we were around each other so much. Some were my roommates—I was stuck with them, like it or not. Others lived next door to me, went to school 5 days a week with me, or played sports with me. Like it or not, we spent a lot of time together, and friendships formed unexpectedly many times.
Why is that important? Because time matters, yet time gets harder to come by the older we get. Life fills up with adult responsibilities, we get financially secure enough to move into a home where we don’t ever bump into neighbors, we move away from family in search of a career, and we don’t go out to the bar with friends. We slip into isolation subtly, and then we begin to think that the world just isn’t bringing the right people along to be our friends, when in actuality, we simply are not meeting and spending time with people as much as we used to.
When life gets busy and prosperous, relationships get squeezed out. This week’s conversation has been about priorities. You need to make sure your relationships are priorities: your relationship with God, and your relationship with key people. “I’m too busy” is a lame excuse. You are never too busy for what’s important—people make time for what’s important. Think about it: If I offered you a free vacation in the Bahamas next week, you would find a way to get everything caught up so that you could go. I’m offering you something infinitely better—spiritual vitality. You need to find a way to make daily time with God happen. You need to find a way to have good, solid conversation with your mentor.
Relationships take time. Ask yourself, how can I make time for these two important relationships?
Write out your answer to the following:
- What have I had to sacrifice or adjust in my schedule to make this relationship a priority? Do I miss it?
- What else could I give up or adjust for better things?