i have been reading a lot about “relationship” lately. leanoard sweet’s “out of the question….”, donald miller’s “searching for god knows what” both hit on this problem of relationships that really hit home for me. both of these writers call into question how well our american society has been dealing with the issue of relationships. basically, we suck….me included.
when i start to inspect within myself, the way i approach relationships in general, it really puts me up against something i don’t like…..my shortcomings, my failures, my tendency to be a bad listener, my tendency to be to lazy to reach out and connect with others, and on and on. i think i am learning that in order to experience relationships in a real and honest way, we need to accept that it will be, at times, painful. not just because of the harm someone else may cause you, but mostly the pain of recognizing that you aren’t able to keep up the charade. in a REAL relationship, the show is over, the curtains drawn, the crowd has stop applauding and has gone home. we are left standing in a empty theater, naked, fat, balding. this is something we not only need to expect, but something we should SEEK. we should seek this with our wives, husbands, friends we have flaked on for months, creepy uncles, neighbors who give us the evil eye because of our barking dogs, and most of all, our creator, our god. see what i mean, it sucks, but only at first, i hope.
i say “i hope”, because i still don’t know if i have really reached that point where i am alone, on stage, in the theater after the crowd has left, where i make myself available for anyone to come in and see me as exactly as i am. maybe i never will, but i at least feel CLOSER to this point with my mere realization that my make-up and costumes only allow me to experience a fragile shell of what a real relationship might be. ditching the image, the reputation, the notoriety, the status….maybe the only way to really fly first class is to go back to coach. that realization hurts, especially when flying from lax to narita.
anyway, i guess i am disappointed in myself. i feel that i have failed those around me, and most of all, failed god. it’s staggering to think how little i actually call out to god. the prayers are few and far between. it’s like i can’t walk with god, i just realize now and then that he’s way ahead of me on the trail and i yell out and run towards for about 20 yards, then i slow down again, back to my own pace. a safe distance. there is so much for me to talk to god about, but i fail to say it. my friend dean once said that just because god CAN bless us, it doesn’t mean he’ll do so. he wants to hear from us our desires, our pain, our dreams. he wants to know that we are faithful, and then he will honor our faithfulness. when he said that, something hit deep inside me. i have so many friends that i feel will never understand what it’s like to open up to god, our creator, and journey with him in the ugly/beautiful world. it’s like i don’t believe god can move towards them to bridge that gap. i can throw up some wordy prayer towards god, but until i actually believe that he can do what seems impossible to me, he won’t accept my prayer. i call to god for change and blessing without the faith that he can provide them……..i might as well spit in his face. it’s nothing but an insult.
i have a long way to go. lax to narita looks like a stroll around the block from this starting point. but i AM faithful that God can help me get there.