The Life in Life

njIn January, I got to witness the birth of my second nephew. It was an exhilarating moment to say the least. And the second he arrived, all of the waiting, wondering, and chaos suddenly melted away, and he was here in all his glory. There’s nothing quite like the wonderful distraction of a new baby. Every single feature on his tiny little body is adorable, and he carries at once a total innocence and a cosmic wisdom because of his simple needs. It’s pretty easy to get totally sidetracked when babies come along.

He got me thinking about love. As humans we of course love our children. We would lay down our lives for them. And in most cases, we feel that way about our nieces and nephews, and grandchildren. And some of us, if we’re lucky, feel that way about a significant other or a best friend. All of these human relationships take root deep in our hearts, and provide us with absolutes in a pretty uncertain world. We know that we love them, we know that they love us, and we know that we would do anything for them. That is, until they disappoint us, which all human beings do. Children disobey, friends let us down, and lovers commit a multitude of sins. And even though our security in those relationships might falter or cause us to question the love between us, we can ultimately forgive many things and go back to loving that person. Sometimes those challenges even make the relationship stronger.

And yet, we abandon our love for God so easily. We get distracted by life (children, relationships, etc…), lose track of time and before you know it, days, weeks, months may pass since we’ve had a feeling of closeness to Him. Some even curse him or completely abandon their faith if they go through a trial in life that seems unfair or too difficult to bear. We see these struggles as signs that God has left us, that He doesn’t care about us, or maybe that He doesn’t even exist.  I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been in that place before. It’s hard to feel loved sometimes when the person isn’t right in front of your face assuring you that they do. Seems like we’ll take a human professing imperfect love to us over a God promising perfect, unconditional love.

All those relationships are in my life because God put them there, and they are the things reminding me of God. But the best reminder of God is actually spending time with Him. This is the point I always come back to, one of those “life lessons” I’m not sure I’ll ever completely learn. The only thing that is going to deepen and grow my relationship with Him is spending time with him. If you don’t see or talk to your husband or wife for weeks, how is that relationship going to strengthen? If you don’t relate to your children or share your life with them in any way, they will be distant, and the bond will weaken. I know that’s the same affect my distance has on my relationship with God. It needs the same amount of attention and excitement that I give to a brand new baby boy, or a new friend or boyfriend.

When it comes to God, excitement about Him doesn’t come out of nowhere. Just like every other relationship, I have to be in His presence, connect with Him, and bring my heart into it.

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