Relationships fascinate me. They always have, and they always will. I stand back and realize how easy it is to take relationships for granted, misuse them (if only unintentionally), and think everything is "fine", when in fact it is not.
Relationships are a joy, the fabric of my life, and what makes me get up every morning and think, "Well, today will be interesting and never boring." :)
I am a student of relationships, my own and others. I look at relationships at home and at work trying to understand how I need to make relationships better. I am always on the look out for what it takes to make a relationship healthy, growing, and meaningful. What kind of open heart and communication is called for? What kind of time commitment makes a difference? While I may miss the mark, I am always trying to improve the relationships that matter to me.
One question that has surfaced a lot this summer is...
Does this person I truly care about REALLY know that their relationship with me is a high priority in my life? Does Bert know? Does Amy know? Does Jessi know? Do my grandchildren know? Do other family members know? Do my friends know?
How about my relationship with God? Does God know?
In a recent sermon at our church our Pastor challenged us to look at our relationship with God, with Jesus, and see how our behavior met the qualities of a healthy relationship here on earth.
Do you regularly talk to God and thank Him for all of the blessings He has given you?
...Or do you only come to God when you want something and you want it "soon please".
Or maybe we often even leave off the please.
Do you talk to God every day or only in a crisis?
..."Please God, (even though I haven't talked to you for five years or even really had a relationship with you)..."please save my child (my job, my marriage, my life)."
Our pastor asked us to consider what would happen to our earthly relationships if we treated them like we often treat God. Yikes!
Pastor Lonnie then gave, what was for me, the ultimate analogy.
"Do you see Jesus as a drive-through God?"
You drive up, give your order of what you want, and expect Jesus to be at the window fulfilling what you want, when you want it, and how your want it. Your "prayers" consist of telling God HOW to do His job and WHEN to do it.
"I'll have ketchup and mustard, but no onions please, Jesus."
"I'd like a better job, better marriage, and all my ducks in a row...and could I please have that NOW. Oh, and by the way, thanks for the great day and all my blessings. Sorry I haven't been to church, worshiped you, or read your Word in the Bible."
Our Pastor then asked, "Are you living your faith as if Jesus was a drive-through?"
I could barely breathe at this point in the sermon.
Oops! I hesitated to look around to see if Lonnie Mitchell was talking to everyone or just me.
Am I really that arrogant with God? If I asked God for the highs and lows in our relationship what would He say? Would He feel like a real priority in my life or just a side dish ordered at Taco Bell?
I felt my knees go weak.
How does He feel when I tell Him what to do, how to do it, and when it needs to be done?
More importantly...Am I really talking to the creator of the universe, the Almighty God, the Alpha and Omega, the Giver of all life and blessings as if He was an employee at a drive-through restaurant?
I felt like I was going to throw up.
This summer, following this sermon, I have been re-reminded that my prayer life needs some revision, my time in the Bible needs some revision, my attitude about going to church and fellowship with other Christians needs some revision, and my overall relationship with God needs some time, love, energy, communication and revision.
I do NOT want to live my faith as if Jesus was a "Drive Through."