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neurological dryer lint

dirty deeds... and the dunderchief


with defeat on their faces

i really enjoyed reading a post over on scott's site about how his relationship with God looks after ten years. it got me thinking about how my relationship with God has changed...

i always come back to the relationship model that evan griffin described in his interpersonal communications class. he talked about how a relationship starts out with a newness, a rush of emotion, druglike, upon starting a new relationship (incidentally, the reason why many people have affairs and cheat - simpy to feel the 'high' of being with someone new). eventually a disillusionment sets in, though, as the novelty evaporates and the reality of the other person is left behind, with all their flaws and shortcomings in plain sight. if the relationship doesn't die at that point, it settles in to what some consider the truest form of a relationship - a contentment with each other, a comfort in honestly and fully knowing the other and accepting them.

evan's description of this cycle really hit home - i could see the trend in all of my relationships, not just romantically but with friends as well.

i see this with renee now... while we have long since passed into the contented stage of our relationship, i can see the novelty of marriage starting to recede. i'm getting used to it, and it happened much more quickly than i expected. her being around all the time has become commonplace - and if she isn't there, it doesn't feel right, rather than being the norm.

the thing between me and God doesn't quite fit in to this model in the traditional sense. i felt the novelty at the beginning. it felt very unreal, almost a fairy tale... one that i was pretending that i was a part of, like when i was twelve and i read The Hobbit for the first time, and wished i was Bilbo Baggins. i injected myself into this story about God, one that i felt unworthy to be a part of, because it was such an excellent idea, a well-crafted adventure.

slowly, eventually, i woke up to the idea that the relationship was real. there was a stretch of novelty which wore away to a monotony filled with chaotic monday nights and camp trips and leadership and church. i wasn't discovering any flaws in God - indeed, the more i learned about him, the more fascinated i was... although the Christian model i had been taught held plenty of shortcomings - instead of joy, i felt guilt, obligation, and fear...

(side note: one other significant difference from the traditional relationship model being that God has always known all of my flaws, my faults, all the egregious wrong i will ever commit. and despite that disasterous knowledge... he continues in his ridiculous love for me.)

so this model's collapse was the culmination of years of learning and discussion with my friends and some wise teachers - Kolia, Andy and Dick at Lifespring, Donald Miller... things changed as i began to realize that God did not want my life to be consumed with guilt and fear. inadequacy was the appropriate response to the offer of forgiveness that i was given - but acting simply as a path to a deep knowledge that i was loved and valued and accepted as i was. and in that, the contentment came. in the same way i am comfortable with being around renee every day - and if we are apart, there is a pain - i feel i've become familiar with God. we've been around each other for a long time and i'm used to him. i'm not pretending that i'm a part of the story anymore. i hope that makes sense.

what i hope that doesn't breed is monotony... i haven't been spending near enough time with God lately, but unlike years ago when that statement came from a place of guilt and obligation, i feel it differently now... i miss him. we should hang out, seriously. i've been a little busy and so i've kind of ignored you. i don't really not want to be around you, you've just been back burner, and you've waited patiently while i came to grips with it. but yeah, this slow reacquainting thing feels a little lackluster. we ought to get together, for real.

so while i figure that one out... you go read this brilliant piece by big bad jeff miller about the new UC rec center. you will sob with terror at his deft imagery.


for this post

Blogger Nickolini Says:

Isn't it unbelieveable that we can have so many affairs with other loves....and God continues pursue the romance with us. If I paid as little attention to my wife as I pay to God, she would have left me a long time ago. Yet He continues to pursue me. Isn't grace a wonderful thing.

Blogger Arti Honrao Says:

"things changed as i began to realize that God did not want my life to be consumed with guilt and fear."

"i haven't been spending near enough time with God lately, but unlike years ago when that statement came from a place of guilt and obligation, i feel it differently now.." I have posted somewhat similar post at my blog on this. It is titled as "Letter from God" I received it as a forwarded msg from my friend.
Proper link to that page is

God Bless You

Blogger Simon Says:

That's tight. Ok, so I know that at least you, Brian and me are at least "trying" to figure things out. We need to step up and start talking on Sunday nights. Now that football is over, we can hopefully focus and get rolling a little. There are a few things I've been learning that I'd love to share with everyone someday if we ever meet again. We just got something too good to pass up and let die!


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