Thursday, July 6, 2017

Convenience or Relationships?

Three days ago, I ordered two items on Amazon Prime. The items arrived two days later. Sometimes, it's next day. How convenient is that? I didn't have to leave my house!! My daughters often order their groceries from Instacart (Instacart is a grocery delivery service where personal shoppers pick up and deliver the groceries to your door within an hour). How much time does that save? They don't have to leave their home! We may go to church, but we sit at the back, then we're in and out without engaging in conversation with others. We drive into our automatic-garage-door garages -- so we never really converse with our neighbors. We sit at a dinner table -- and rather than being engaged with others at the table, we are texting or surfing on our cell phones.

Where am I going with these observations? I shared this because of a message I heard from Pastor Ryan Malouff at Expression Church in Austin last Sunday (where my kids attend). I perked up when he said, "We've gotten lazy in our approach to relationships. We opt for less conversation and more instantaneous convenience. Once upon a time, our society was about interacting, purposely engaging in conversations -- getting to know each other."

Whatever happened to "relationship" building -- making the effort to get to know our neighbors, our kids' teachers, other kids' family members, attending various groups of interest to get to know others and be a blessing to them.

Think about Jesus. He was a mingler. He went out of his way to engage in conversation (i.e., the Samaritan woman at the well, visits to Mary, Lazarus and Martha's home, spending time cultivating relationships with His disciples, going to Zacchaeus' house and speaking to him and his family about God's love for them). When we're avoiding relationships, we are missing the opportunity to be an encourager to them. Did you know we can be the CEO of our lives? We can all be Chief Encouragement Officers. We can be a light that others need in their lives.

"If you want friends, you must first show yourself friendly." Proverbs 18:24. I've taken that scripture to heart as I've forced myself to be a part of women's groups, Bible Studies, meet my neighbors, attend meetings at my community center, and hang around after church to meet and greet others in the family. I can't stay cooped up and withhold the goodness of God that someone is craving to have. How about you?