>Relationships in a Postmodern Society

>I remember a time when my pastor and I were studying for an exam in Hebrew after a bible study and we came to the usual moment in the discussion which went something like this:

Shef: Alright give me something.
Pastor: What are you talking about?
Shef: Come on man you have some nuggets in the word and I have to have them.
Pastor: I don’t have anything else you got it all.
Shef: Man quit playing give it up. I’m a sponge, I gotta get all of it.
Pastor: alright turn to….

I recall one particular discussion about John 1:35-43 where the disciples asked Jesus where he was staying (there is something to that also I will save for another entry or if you are a sponge and choose to email me.) He brings them along and they spent the rest of the day and part of the next day with the savior of the world. What kind of friendship do you build with the physical form of the One who created you? I could be completely off but I can not imagine the discussion was about the BCS championship, haircare, work, or spam. Yet I do feel in the same sense that the discussion was very simple. Either way that conversation was privileged and important; with the exception of the little fear period when Jesus was arrested they followed Him.

Relationships used to be like that. Whether a family member, a ‘best’ friend, someone who is is just close that there is no title necessary, a marriage, a parent (biologically or not) to a child, and even like me with my boss relationships used to be something so noble that the mere crossing of paths left a long standing effect in both lives. I believe that if Peter had crossed Jesus in the same way but Jesus did not desire Him to be an apostle nothing would have been different for Peter. He may have had a different calling but He would have understood who had done the calling. When you know someone it should change you. And in the way when you can let someone know who you are that should change you also. Otherwise the crossing of paths is only a coincidence. And to put coincidence together in relationships of friends, parents, husband/wife, coworker, neighbor is an oxymoron. Life is just a bit too complicated to be so uneventful as to conclude it is random events of no mutual growth.

In a postmodern society where truth has taken a backseat to an overly experience driven philosophy of life there is a tendency to miss focus of the truth in the matter. I suspect there is a failure of seeing the grace of the relationship, the joy in it, the pain growth, the enduring for it, the nobility, the care, the sacrifice, the devotion. I say that because just the word has been replaced with ‘acquaintance, associate, baby…, co-, , etc.’ which somehow seem to attest to the fact that these relationships have taken a step back to other priorities. Experiences that will leave us better. Concerns that seem more important. Technology that will keep us more intertained.

In a world that seems to be so ‘real’ why is it that media pushes us further and further away from one another? Perhaps we assume that God never considered making us individual worlds to live our lives out alone. (Or maybe that is what we wish we had.) Maybe we miss the amount of things that had to fall into place for you to meet, cross paths, work at the same job (in this economy??), be married, live,etc. Postmodernism is funny because there is a desire for authentic community a realness. But because everything is relative to my own eye I can not see how much of a gracious gift relationships are. And therefore I will not be able to treat them with the dignity they deserve. In the same sense it is just as tough when half of the involved cannot see the truth of relationships properly. All that is noble of the relationships is lost into an expectation created (and unaproachable) by society, media, or worse myself.

Get to the point Sheffield. Fair enough. Relationships when given their proper meaning and value leave you with numerous opportunities to see that you and (fill in your own people) are related in ways you never deserved. (Did you deserve them.) When you have a truthful perspective striving outside of a postmodern influence you really see Jesus’ words in John 15:13 the right way. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. People in your life should change you. People who care (or don’t) should have long standing affects on you, just by them being there. Whether they do it right or not. The longer they are there, the greater the change (I hope.) But in spite of the length if it matters how much God has to do in truth to cross a path what lasting effects so great and magnificent should occur to those who are willing to lay down their life for these?

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