I have been re-reading “The Shack” (by William Young) and it is giving me some powerful new thoughts about my own relationship with God, the people that I love, and the people that I am around as I go through my daily life.
I am realizing that the politics that I have been so passionate about recently are really no more than distractions from the things that I should be focusing on. Relationship. That is what should be driving my life and the things that I do. My relationship with God through Himself in the form of Jesus His son, who came to earth to be a man that I could know Him and through Him know the Father. My relationship with Jesus, if given the proper importance and time would result in a much stronger relationship with Rhonda and my children, My mother and my sisters, and all of my family and friends, and it would also drive me to build relationships with others that I hardly know now and that I have yet to meet.
I do not elevate “The Shack” to divine status, or accept its premises as truth, but use the thought-provoking ideas within, concocted by a Godly man who has studied theology, as a jumping off point to open my exploration of how to strengthen my search and my understanding of God and the nature of His Son who was sent to bridge the void between The Father and me.
The book is based upon the premise of The Trinity and the relationship that exists between these three embodiments of the divine. Separate and yet unified by nature, one in human form, one as spirit, and one as Most Holy God, They work in relationship, serving each the others in a model of what He intends for us, without need for authority or rule or law between the three parts of the whole as we could be if we followed in reality the tenet of “Love one another as we love ourselves.” Care for each other as though we were caring for ourselves. Want for each other what we ourselves have.
I want to do a lot more study into the nature of The Trinity and how God has created such a perfect way in which to reconcile and redeem us in spite of our desire for autonomy and self-determination. In our desire for independence we shackle ourselves with chains intended to protect what we perceive as the freedom and happiness that we desire without realizing that these are the very things that separate us from each other and from our Creator and keep us enslaved to desire rather than fulfillment through the relationships that were designed to meet our every need.
We judge those around us before we ever know them and by the time we are able to learn who they are we have hopelessly altered our perceptions until at times we can never find the true person behind the misconceptions offered by appearance. How many times might I have met someone truly amazing had I not looked and judged?
We are afraid to give because we struggle so hard to get, yet the effort given to the getting is often what keeps us from actually receiving. So many times something that has consumed my time and effort, once obtained, turns out to be so of so much less value than the time and energy spent. How much have these useless rewards diverted me from what I could have had, had I been less focused upon what I thought that I needed.
Relationships take our focus from those temporary things of narrow view and broaden our sight, often revealing what we have searched for all along.
God intends, I think, for relationships to provide us with all that we need. Our relationship with Him and through Him our relationship with each other. When we look past appearance and build a relationship, we find where the true value of our lives lie.
Many things keep us from looking beyond what we first see in each other. Mostly these things boil down to a single word; fear. Fear of losing something that we value, fear of rejection, fear of looking foolish, fear of bodily harm. We see someone or something different from what we are used to and we fear that whatever change comes about, and there is always change when you enter into a relationship with someone, will be harmful or unwanted. We fear that our expectations will not be met, or we fear that they will.
Relationships require faith. A relationship with God requires faith. That relationship will bring about change, and yet God does not require change in order to have relationship with Him. A relationship with God will simply bring about change.