“We finish our years like a sigh. The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” Psalm 90:9, 10.
Why are we always in such a hurry? Why is something else often more important than taking a few minutes – or hours, if need be – to cultivate a relationship? Why is our priority to get things done, instead of investing our time in relationships? Does it really matter if our “to do list” is unfinished because we chose to spend quality time with God, or with a friend or an acquaintance?
Jesus knew the importance of dedicating time to nurturing relationships. He spent time with the multitudes, as well as with the 12 disciples. Even within that group, He had special friends that He spent more time with. In the midst of a hectic life of teaching and healing multitudes, He took Peter, James and John “up on a high mountain apart by themselves, and He was transfigured before them.” (Mark 9:2) This event made such an impression on them, that Peter and John both mentioned it later in their writings. (John 1:14; 2nd Peter 1:16-18) We know of the special relationship Jesus had with Mary, Martha and Lazarus, and read that He allowed that bonding to take place as He spent time with them. (Mt. 26:6-10; Lk. 10:38-42; John 11) From this small group of soul friends, we see those who stood by Him at the cross, and that they were among the first to discover that He had risen. They were among the most privileged people in history – Jesus made time to be with them, and they with Him!
As Christians, we know that the most important relationship that we need to nurture is our walk with the Lord. Getting to know Him more through His word and prayer should be our top priority, and that takes time; a conscious effort to set aside a special time with Him. Looking at it from an eternal perspective, we realize it is time well spent! When our relationship with God is a healthy, thriving one, our relationship with others will be healthier.
How does making time for others work out in practical ways? With all the technology that we have at our disposal, being connected is easier than ever. We cultivate relationships by purposefully setting aside time to be with a person to share, to talk, to laugh, have fun, or even to cry and pray together. It can be as simple as taking a minute to send a card or an e-card to remind someone that they are loved and appreciated, or we can invest hours in organizing a reunion. The bottom line is that it is always worth the effort to make the time. Don’t rush through life!
Looking at my own life, the unfortunate reality reveals that I am too often in a hurry to “do” what I consider to be important, according to my agenda, and don’t make enough time to “be” a relationship nurturer. When it’s all said and done, I don’t want to finish my life with the smug satisfaction that I got everything checked off of my endless “to do” lists. I want to end my years knowing that I cultivated my relationship with God daily, and that because of that, I was motivated to invest time in nurturing relationships with others. Even if I leave some things undone,…who really cares? I want to have the assurance that someone felt God’s love through me because I wasn’t rushing through life.
Excuse me while I turn off the computer and grab my phone…..