I stayed at home today with a sick 8-year-old, thereby giving me ample time to get caught up on some email, a little article reading and some Facebook trolling. While I typically would enjoy such a leisurely day, the closer we get to the close of the day, the heavier my heart becomes.
Relationships are rarely easy, and yet I find even the most challenging can be deeply rewarding when given the opportunity. I may stand alone in this assertion.
What I am discovering as years pass is a deep sadness for the loss of relationship, or tension within, for the sake of unmet expectations, unreconciled misunderstanding, or the result of having taken sides with another. Chasing the heart of one who does not wish to be found is heartbreaking, and I struggle at times between the desire to pursue and love at all costs, and choosing to allow the free will of others to engage when, and if, they find fellowship with me worthy of pursuit.
An interesting trend in our culture is that in spite of research indicating we are lonelier than ever before as a general population, relationships are seen as disposable, optional, and often take a back seat to our own desires, ideals and need for absolute autonomy. Somehow we have come to believe that in order to pursue our own lives, those around us must agree with all we do, and act and respond 100% in the manner with which we would like, or they are as easily disposed of as last week’s trash.
In the end, many of us are left to pick up the pieces – weighing what we could have done differently, condemning our own shortcomings, longing to connect – while others move on to greener pastures of personal indulgence and self-righteousness.
It would seem that the more freedom humans have, the less grace they extend to others. Our deepest need to control propels us towards a lifestyle of condemnation for anything we find contradictory, different or challenging. If it doesn’t look like us, feel good or feed our ego, it is discarded as bad. Unworthy. In the end, our desire to walk our own life dictates an intolerance for anyone wanting to live theirs differently.
Absolute freedom in the world easily ushers in delusions of grandeur, which deceivingly brings us into bondage.
From the creation of man, God said it was not good for him to be alone, and throughout scriptures we are admonished to be in relationship for our own personal protection, comfort, and growth. Iron sharpens iron, and in all forms of diversity, we find our truest version of self. Our best version. Despite the occasional discomfort and risk.
Who have you dismissed? Discarded? Discounted? Is there someone who genuinely loves you that is possibly worthy of the opportunity to walk in authenticity, AND alongside you?
The good news is, garbage day isn’t until Tuesday – there is still time…