I love a good story. I am a huge fan of the BBC. Melanie and I love to watch mysteries produced by the BBC shown on Netflix and Hulu. The BBC does an excellent job of this. Quite often they are longer than the American standard and have less technology and but a good story. The elements of a good story are character development, complex plots, and an excellent story line to accompany them. All of these take time. In fact, most anything of good quality takes time. Relationships with God and people are no exception.
Living in an age when things can be had fast, we become accustomed to quick turnarounds and instant responses. Our patience grows thinner and thinner with each day. But with all that being said, anything of quality takes time.
When I meet with a couple who are getting married, I emphasize that they need to continuously take time for each other every day. I point out that everyone changes every day because of outside influences and internal processes. When we neglect to keep in touch with each other we can easily grow apart and lose our connection with one another. It creeps up on you and you don’t notice it until the day you feel like strangers.
That same effect can happen with God. There is no substitute for taking time to stay in touch. This happens when you read scripture and sometimes identify with the characters. It happens when you have a conversation about God with someone you know and trust. It happens when you participate in worship by listening to the word and partaking of the sacraments. It happens when in a quiet moment alone you bow your head and say a prayer. All of these are ways of staying in touch with our creator.
Martin Luther struggled in his day with people popping into to worship and not being engaged in the service. Some, since it was an option, would go over to the side chapel take a quick communion and depart.
While that is not offered today, worship in our times can become something we choose as an option for our Sunday. To view it as an option is another of saying it is an elective. But is it? Is not worship something that needs to be practiced regularly?
As an example, what if you chose to brush your teeth when it was convenient. Obviously, you would probably struggle with tooth decay. What if you checked in with your spouse when it fit into your schedule? I’m just sayin’.
Church is not an option. Church is the place where we nurture a relationship with God and God’s people. Relationships take time and commitment. We make these commitments because we value them.
The beauty of a strong relationship is it lasts through thick and thin. A good relationship helps you through the tough times of your life. I will grant you, church is not always exciting but neither is any other relationship. Sometimes it “just is.” But we push through the “just is” because we recognize nothing is always exciting.
I would suggest that in those less than exciting times when we are tempted to slip away from God, He is staying in the relationship better than us. In fact, I am convinced that “he is”. He is consistent, patient, and waiting. Why? Because he cares and knows that relationships take time and must be nurtured. Scripture calls it steadfast love. So, when we are weak, he is strong.
So, reflect with me. How are you nurturing your relationship with God? Have you slipped away some? Do you know how to reconnect? It is simple. It starts with hello. And it continues with God saying, “Welcome Home. I have missed you. How has it been?”
See you at church!