Thursday, May 23, 2013

Long Distance Relationship

70% of all long distance relationships are doomed to end within seven months. Freshman college students vow that they will not be part of the statistics as she heads to Westcoast and he jets off to Bob Jones. They text each other faithfully every 5 minutes... until the time comes when she wants to have some girl time with her roomies and he begins to occasionally ignore a message or two. Then there's midterms, school sports, Starbucks study breaks, and video games that just make it so time is sapped and the boyfriend/girlfriend is pushed to a once-every-other-week-15-minute chat. That, boys and girls, is why long distance relationships fail.

So, how far away is God? We know the Sunday school answer. God is everywhere, so He must be right here. When you pray though, do your prayers get past the ceiling? That's a common colloquialism in Christianity today. Our relationship with God becomes strained because of problems throughout the day, or something we prayed about didn't turn out the way we hoped, or we just really haven't thought that much about God lately.

Have we turned God into the one we go to when we want someone who makes us feel good? I have seen long distance relationships that seemed to exist only for the occasional opportunities to go on a date when the couple returns to their hometown. Is that how we treat God? As a steady date?

When our relationship with Christ is good and fresh, when we are coming off of the latest spiritual high, when we come back from an amazing week at camp, we are so good about talking to Him and thinking about His Word. We pray, we read,we spend time adoring Him. Soon that begins to wane and we no longer crave His Word and His presence.

So what can be done? We are fallible people who easily leave our first loves for something else.

A truth that became very evident in my own personal life this is semester has become a motto for me:

You make time for what you love

The 30% of relationships that do not fail when the couple is separated almost always had a common factor: they had a plan for when they would talk to each other. Perhaps this is how we should treat our relationship with God. We must plan for when we will spend quality time with God. This doesn't mean that you don't seek Him during an "unscheduled" time, but that, no matter how busy the day is, you will only focus on Him for this certain period of time.

A lot of people call this quiet time, or personal devotions. I try to stay away from both of those terms. The first, because it reminds me of nap time from when I was a child. The second, because it leans toward a "have-to-do" attitude. We don't spend time with the ones we love because we have to, we spend time with them because we love them and want to know and understand them better. We do need to spend time with them, otherwise our view of them could be quite incorrect, but that is not the main reason we spend time with people.

Seek Him, know Him, have a constant relationship with Him.

Because of Him,