God has been working in my heart concerning relationship lately. I can't quite quantify it or describe it eloquently enough to make a provoking blog post but it is there, and I am learning. I am learning that relationship is the key. First, in my life, my relationship with God. It is supposed to be a unique and powerful as any other relationship that I have. Just like every relationship, there is not a diagram of "growth", I won't ever "arrive", it will change as I grow and He works in me. Second, my job on earth is relationship. It is what I am called to. I am to be in deep and meaningful relationship with those around me, loving with a love that only God can bring up in my life. That is the point. Any gifts I have been given, blessings I have, talents and abilities are mine to further my ability to be in relationship with those who God loves, that I may love them and that they might see that the point of their lives is to live a bigger story. Like I said, I don't have it all neatly categorized in my head yet, but you get the jest of it.
Easter day started just fine. It was Sunday, Matt was sleeping in and I was enjoying getting things ready for an Easter brunch to which I have invited friends. When Matt got up we gave our children there Easter baskets and we all got dressed to go to the village Easter egg hunt. I am trying to be involved in my neighborhood activities and build relationships with those around me, making choices that put me in proximity to others instead of falling back on my independent streak.
We pile in the car, baskets in hand, GPS giving us directions to the park. We arrive, after a little confused driving around (what is WITH all these stupid one way streets?!) but the park was empty. Wrong park? I asked a man walking his dog where the egg hunt was, he informed me that we were in the right place...on the wrong day. Crap. Back home with a car full of disappointed girls.
Now with plenty of time to prepare for Easter brunch, I turned on music and got to work. Fruit salad, deviled eggs, glazed ham, homemade rolls and roasted asparagus. Matt helped me set the table with white linens and the good plates. Everything was ready. But our company never showed. At 11:30 we sent a text only to find out that she was thinking dinner was that evening, despite the fact I had invited her to BRUNCH and we discussed only days before that it was going to be at 11.
I was irked. I worked hard to prepare a nice meal. My kids were excited for company to come. And our stupid friend failed to remember that BRUNCH was at 11. We all sat down to a slightly cooled Easter dinner, just our family. We made the best of it, the girls enjoyed themselves, as did Matt and I. The food was yummy but I was still simmering.
And here is my problem with living in relationship; people suck, they do stupid things, they let you down and make your kids sad and disappointed. The leave you with an entire glazed ham and all the dishes. I don't want to make friends. I am sick of "first date" friendships where I second guess everything from the cleanliness of my house (which usually leaves something to be desired) and wonder if they will judge me if my newly potty trained 2 year old poops on the floor. I have to choose to be vulnerable, to put myself out there and love others when they might walk away in disgust from my dog hair covered couch and...gulp...maybe even me.
Loving others in a real way is hard. I don't want to be patient when they ruined all my hard work. I don't want to be kind when they ask if they can just come over in the evening instead. I want to be snarky and sharp tonged, that comes naturally to me. I don't want to give second chances, live in the mess of real relationship with hurting people. But I know, at the end of the day, that is what matters, it is what brings fulfillment and joy in life, it is what shows God to those around me. Sure, I can feed the homeless once a month, but am I willing to go down every week and develop a relationship with the teen mom who is struggling?
The call seems to big. I have a list of excuses as long as my arm why I should be off the hook. But I am not and either are you. You are called to relationship, first with a God who loves you, second with those He puts in your life that you are to love. And forgive. And care for when it is inconvenient and hard. And sometimes, we just want to take our Easter baskets and go home.