I grew up going to church. I hung out with my buds, went to social events and enjoyed the cute girls. But after high school everyone kind of split so I did too.
I mean church itself seemed like it was aimed mostly at inhibiting fun and inflicting boredom. I couldn’t see the point.
And fun I had in college. Competing in sports, living in a frat house, driving cool cars and dating cute girls. I mean what’s not to like?
Yet, by the end of my senior year somehow it’d run its course. Sure I still went to frat parties and there were always lots of girls around.
But something was missing.
I felt a restlessness I couldn’t quell. After several failed relationships I felt lonely. All the fun just wasn’t enough anymore. And yikes, the fun was about to end when I graduated and actually had to go to work.
I found myself growing depressed.
I’ve related before how one night after talking with a fraternity brother about his spiritual awakening I stood on the balcony of the fraternity house staring up into the freezing star lit sky. I prayed hesitantly, “God I don’t even know if you exist. But if you do accept me and come into me. Oh, and let me know somehow you’re real or I’m out of here.”
In that moment my life was changed. I felt his peace and love in an indescribable yet undeniable way.
I entered into that relationship and life that I continue to still find both satisfying and engaging to this day years later.
As I read a story of Jesus it reminded me of why I love being in a relationship with him.
Jesus was teaching and healing in a house for hours. He was exhausted so finally he leaves and walks out to the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
He sat down in the soft grass, feeling the breeze blow across his face. Perhaps he ate a corned beef on rye and talked with his heavenly father a bit.
Soon the crowds found him though.
So he climbed into a boat and pushed just off shore. Then he taught the crowds who lined the shore with story after story.*
This picture of Jesus reminds me why I love being in this relationship.
First, Jesus is never pushy. He left and the crowds followed him. He never pushes his agenda. No high pressure sales tactics. He just offers this amazing life with him and lets us decide.
Second, Jesus is always available. He’s present no matter when. He didn’t cloister himself off in a monastery or hide away. He was always there. He still is.
Third, he taught in ways the simplest or the most educated could understand. No theological babble or pressurized preaching. He guides us simply and clearly so we get it.
Frankly, that’s the amazing relationship I’ve discovered and what motivates me to want even more.
What motivates you to want more of that relationship?
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*Matthew 13: 1-3
Photo Credit: Leland Francisco (Creative Commons)