Recently I have found God circling my wagons around the idea of “DEPTH”. How deep are my relationships, my connections, friendships? And the most concerning, How deep is my relationship with God? A wise friend once told me, a person’s relationship with other people is a direct reflection of their relationship with Christ.
A lifelong extrovert, self reflection doesn’t come naturally. I LOVE people, I LOVE crowds, and I LOVE to laugh, and be loud and silly, none of which are conducive to quiet reflection. But I also LOVE to read. ONE of my favorite books is called A Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. ( In Today’s English retold by James H. Thomas). John Bunyan was a Puritan preacher in the 1600’s. He wrote book in 1677, while imprisoned for preaching without a license. With very little education, Mr. Bunyan wrote one of the most significant religious works in history. It has never been out of print, has been translated into more than 200 languages and is the 2nd most widely read book in history, BEHIND THE BIBLE. (Clearly he had a very deep relationship with the Father!) It is an allegory that tells of an “everyday man” (Christian) who leaves his home in the “City of Destruction” (this world) and journeys to the “Celestial City” (heaven). This morning’s reading lead Christian and his newest traveling buddy Faithful, to a person named Talkative. While Talkative represents cameleon type people who blend with and change with the company they keep, he did bring to mind some serious food for thought.
As they journey on the road, Faithful invited Talkative to walk alongside them and visit. Talkative was very happy to walk and talk, but he prefaced his acceptance with these words, which I highlighted! “That suits me fine to talk of things that are good, with you or anyone else, is very acceptable to me. I am glad to meet with those who are interested in the better things of life, for, to tell you the truth, there are very few these days who want to talk about things of value. Most of our generation are interested only in the trivial things of no profit; this has been a heartache for me.” Faithful responds “That is indeed regrettable, for what in this world is more worthy of our conversation that the things of God? A few lines later, Talkative goes on to say: “To talk of these things is most profitable, for by so doing a man may get knowledge of many things,… There are many more WONDERFUL nuggets in this conversation, as there is in the entire book so I highly suggest reading it.
My heart longs to talk of things that are good with others. I believe that in spending time talking with others about God, and Jesus, we deepen our understanding of his truths in our lives and see evidence of his truth in others lives, BUT are we intentional in asking? Do we ever go deeper than, “How are you doing”? Do we ever say, “So, How is God doing in your life?” Instead of responding “we are good” do we ever say, “We are Blessed, let me tell you the crazy things God is doing in our family!” I fall short here…I am not always intentional about talking Jesus with people, and I miss opportunities to share my heart with others. I take the time to catch up on the earthly things in my friends lives, but I am not sure it has ever occurred to me to say “Hey, how are you doing spiritually”, or “Hey, I am reading this awesome book and it really has me thinking about this…” So I am going to go deeper with my friendships this year. I am going to be intentional about it. I want to get deeper….