Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Relational Thinking

You know, it's something that I've probably heard all my life growing up, and a word that I've learned to take entirely for granted: relationship. It's a word that I feel has changed significantly over the course of the years, or maybe it's just me, I know that how I now understand the word relationship is very different from how I once understood the word. Now, of course, we ought to have the technical definition of the word, and according to dictionary.com:
a connection, association, or involvement.
connection between persons by blood or marriage.
an emotional or other connection between people: the relationship between teachers and students.
a sexual involvement; affair.

Okay, fair enough. For a while growing up, I generally only thought of the word relationship in the context of the fourth definition presented above. I blame television and my own naivete. As I grew older, I became more and more aware of the breadth of the word, and it began encompassing the other three definitions. Relationships nowadays for me, encompass more and more the third definition, that is my "default definition", what I automatically think of when I hear the word. 

So why then do we often view our relationship with God in such a different way from our other relationships?  Don't we? I know I have sometimes. What do I mean by that? Well, if we take a step back, we can in some sense quantify the progress of our relationships. How much do we speak with each other? What is the nature of our conversations? How long are our conversations? How much do I look forward to those said conversations?

This is continual challenge in the shifting of my paradigm. When people ask the question "How is your walk?" namely, how my Christian walk is, the crux of the question really boils down to, how my relationship with God is. Yet continually, I find myself treating the question along the same lines as "how are things at work?" as opposed to something along the lines of "how are things between you and your friend?" I know which way I ought to see it, but which way do I live?

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