Thanks for tuning in! Last week, we started our new series, Scary Close. In this series, we’re engaging what Scripture and faith have to say about relationships.
Our first edition looked specifically at how we can relate to God in new and radical ways. Don’t worry, we’re not talking about going crazy with our relationships. We won’t be hitting anybody over the head with a Bible anytime soon. Instead, we found that to be in relationship, four basic factors need to be examined: proximity, time, trust, and communication.
To keep it simple and silly (KISS… not the band), generally, relationships with people are more like cats than dogs. Dogs will return to sniff, lick, sneeze and don’t think twice about loving on you excessively regardless of what you do. People, however, are more like cats. Cats keep relationships on their own terms. They don’t seem to mind if you pet them… as long as it’s the right spot, the right length of time, the right this, the right that. And watch out, because if you pet one too many times, you’re about to get a good swat with a paw and then watch your little buddy prance away all smug and content with leaving you alone as they find the next best spot of sunlight to nap in.
Ok, maybe people aren’t entirely like cats, but they do treat one another differently than God treats each individual. In Psalm 139, the author provides a real and authentic display of a close relationship to God. This relationship is one that realizes how close God always is to each of us (Proximity). It’s the kind of relationship that has been consistent since before the author was born (Time). It’s a relationship where vulnerability and authenticity are the rule and not the exception (Trust). This Psalm, along with innumerable others, offers an example of a person who has been in commune with God for a time – talking and listening (Communication). AND these talks reveal very deep and potentially unflattering thoughts about the author, yet they continue to trust God to not condemn them for wicked thoughts, but instead, guide them back “in the way everlasting.”
The type of relationship God wants to have with each of us is not one for the faint of heart. It is a type of relationship that requires work from both parties involved. This relationship will hurt sometimes. It is extremely uncomfortable to allow someone else to know everything about you. When that happens, we no longer solely hold on to the power. It is shared, and that other person has the chance to swat at you with their paw, then walk away smug and secure as they find the next sunny spot to control.
God is not a cat. God is right here beside you and is not going anywhere. Where can you go from God’s spirit, or where can you flee from God’s presence? Wherever you are, wherever you go, God is there. Scary Close.