A healthy relationship requires a lot of work and investment. Good communication needs to be maintained between two people, involving honesty and vulnerability in many tough conversations. Trust is a vital foundation that a relationship is built upon, as well as transparency between both parties. In order to develop a relationship, quality-time needs to be arranged and prioritized so that memories and experiences can develop within the boundaries of that relationship. We have all heard this recipe consistently throughout our lives. This recipe involving all of the ingredients that will ultimately culminate in one healthy and thriving relationship; the key ingredient being quality-time.
It was always rather obvious to me that in order for me to achieve healthy friendships and relationships in my life, I would need to make sure the proportions of all these ingredients were accurate. But only until recently did it dawn on me that my relationship with God requires the exact same ingredients for success.
I don’t know why I had thought differently. Attending church and reading His word complimented my lifestyle and the type A person I am. These activities are very practical and tangible things to execute and so I was rather consistent in my execution of them each day. Prayer, however, is something that I struggle with. Prayer takes time, thought, investment and reflection; just like a conversation with anyone would. I was sending God tokens of my love, but I wasn’t actually sitting down with Him and spending quality-time with Him.
My 2018 calendar has been covered with a sufficient amount of ink to classify my year as busy busy busy, filled with work, projects,dinner reservations and coffee dates. Don’t get me wrong, I spoke to God. I gave him a quick chat on my way to work, sent him love on a Sunday morning, though none of this was the quality time that our relationship craved and so desperately needed.
A month ago I found my year-end pages to be rather barren, with no relationship commitments and major events I was feeling rather confused and down-right morbid. Where were my friends? Why aren’t they calling? All those invites, they had evaporated. I went running to my friend Callan, who had asked me to hang-out on a Friday evening. I explained my astonishment at my empty schedule and my fear and isolation that had gotten the better of me, “FOMO” was a feeling I was familiar with by that stage. Callan listened intently as I waffled on in contempt, and then, to paraphrase her wise words, the likes of ” God has had enough of being sidelined, he wants you to give him your quality-time ” came out of her smiling mouth.
I hadn’t been sitting down with God and talking to him. Giving Him the “clip notes” version of my heart was no longer going to cut it. What may seem like a very dark time; a break-up or perhaps losing your job or losing a friend, is often a time where God is pushing stuff out of the way so that you are able to spend time growing in Him and through Him without the distractions of life. By our lives being quietened down a tad we experience growth in our relationship with Christ, that growth often leads to us being better suited to receive greater promises that God has in store for us.
What I had initially viewed as a negative time in my life had a disguised purpose and blessing, I just needed to fix my gaze on Jesus’ heart instead of my own fear of rejection. The truth is, we aren’t always able to truly focus on God and our relationship with Him when we are so busy and preoccupied. This is a time for me to focus my heart and my mind on God and His voice so that we can grow even closer.