I have been asked to be the final speaker/facilitator for our post-college retreat this coming weekend. The retreat theme is "Good Relationship are No Accident". We have a star studded cast of speakers on Friday night and Saturday, then I get to wrap it up on Sunday. I am greatly humbled by this opportunity. Though most of my time has been outlined for me by my boss, I do have some opening moments for thoughts and a closing wrap-up. Since the whole weekend is about relationships I just keep thinking about what stops us from having them and what makes us disappointed in them once we do. My thoughts again and again go towards the grip loneliness has on people. How God hates for people to be alone. He created us for community. Though... you can still be lonely in community. In Blue Like Jazz (Clayton if you are reading this post, yes I still have your copy and will mail it to you eventually) there is a moment where one of Don Miller's friend is opening up to him about his marriage... about how even in marriage where he is best known to any other human being, there is still something missing that only God can fill.
"I'm saying there is stuff I can't tell her, not because I don't want to, but because there aren't words. It's like we are separate people and there is no getting inside each other to read each other's thoughts, each other's beings. Marriage is amazing because it is the most beautiful thing I have ever dreamed of, Don, but it isn't everything. It isn't Mecca. Danielle loves everything about me; she accepts me and tolerates me and encourages me. She knows me better than anybody else in the world, but she doesn't know all of me, and I don't know all of her. And I never thought after I got married there would still e something lacking. I always thought marriage, especially after I first met Danielle, would be the ultimate fulfillment. It is great, don't get me wrong, and I am glad I married Danielle, and I will be with her forever. But there are places in our lives that only God can go." (Blue Like Jazz pg. 146)
So many people (like myself) fear intimacy. Instead we shrink into loneliness. There is a false perception of safety there. God is love. Without loving and being loved... how can we truly know God? If we say we are His followers and want to do His will... we have to step through fear, and love. When we fill unloved, rejected, or abandoned... that is not from God. When we are not loving, reject, or abandon... that is us going against the will of God.
Please pray as I continue to process these thoughts. After I share we will go into a time of confession and communion. I pray that God will continue to shape my thoughts so that I can speak in love and those who come will leave with their love tanks overflowing.