Thursday, November 5, 2009

How Hard is it to Love God?

Last week the Senior High EDGE series "Crosswalking Relationships" began and we talked about Jesus' response to the question of what is the greatest commandment- to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. We blow through so much stuff in confirmation, but once we are beyond those classes, it is good to come back, and slow down and talk about what it really looks like on the ground to live in the midst of God's word. So we unpacked what this relationship could look like- heart, soul, mind and strength.
When we thought of strength- someone mentioned the idea of morals and actions and the strength it takes to live in a way that is not always shared by others. One person shared the ending of a romantic relationship because of behavior he could not condone, and the courage it takes to stand in the face of things it might be easier to ignore.
When we thought of mind- we talked about how often we do or do not read or study God's words for us and whether we see the Bible as a rule book, or whether we realize that the same words can bring new meanings at different stages in our lives.
We did some diving into the soul-People were open to talking about how they connect with God in prayer- there were beautiful moments of people sharing how prayer anchors the day, gives them strength to know they do not go it alone. Prayer helps to overcome anxiety so someone can sleep. How trying to have a pattern has become a part of someone's daily life. Then we got to the heart.
We contemplated what happens to us when we think we are in love with someone-how much of us is invested in the other person. We feel differently. We think about the person- ALOT! We look for them. We want to do things for them. When I asked if this also meant that we buy things for the other person- this got a lot of laughter-
"Come on, Vic- we don't have a lot of money!" But this led to one guy sharing that he thinks the most important thing to give is the gift of time- the gift of yourself. Whereupon all of the other guys agreed that stuff just doesn't say the same thing as being there. The girls agreed.
But we all know we only have so much time. We can get so busy with tests and sports, and friends and Facebook and family stuff and it can be hard to say "No" to all of these things. As we consider what it means to love God, it is about the relationships we feed- real and virtual. Rob Bell has suggested that maybe the question is not what we say "No" to, but what we say "Yes" to-is God a part of Yes? Is God the first YES?
Lucky for us, when we can't live as committed to the relationship, God is still saying "Yes." Knowing that allows us to continue to come to God, knowing that our prayers are heard and the love is still alive. The next topic even before we get to Loving Others, is "How Hard is it to Love Ourselves?"
I give thanks for this wonderful group- and I pray that in the midst of all of this week's tests and projects and sports and stuff, that they remember they never walk alone.

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