Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Connections


What are they? Dictionaries claim they are “a link, or a bond”; “association; relationship”; “a circle of friends”…
We think of connections in more technological terms, in this era.
We constantly have an internet connection, a cellphone connection etc. we connect to wifi, we connect to cable, we connect or disconnect our phone lines. We’re connected to Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Words with Friends… *insert your favourite here* (I know you have one – or five – you social networking junkie!!)
But for what purpose? What do all of these “connections” have in common.
My Dad always told us growing up (and still does), “no matter what happens in life, always remember – it’s ALL about Relationship”.

But isn’t that what we do everyday? We connect to the internet to build up relationships?
But what did we do without all this confounded technology. I don’t know about you, but my parents and grandparents had no need to be “connected” to social networks or even to a smartphone that can connect you to ALL your favourite social networks at the same time!

What if life were simpler than that… perhaps a connection is simply an unseen bond between people.
And yet, not so simple at all.

Have you ever had a friend that from the very first moment you met them, there was that connection?
Perhaps you were children, bonding over favourite Mandie mystery novels, and then your friendship grew into an amazing bond that couldn’t be shaken, even though teen drama and just the existence of time and space tried to drive a wedge between you. In the end it didn’t matter. Your connection was too strong.

Or perhaps you were older when a connection like this came along. Old enough to choose who you were investing your time in.
Who you choose to do life with and let have an influence on you makes all the difference.
You are who you hangout with. Look around, who have you made a connection with?

A personal story…
I remember when I was just starting to stretch my wings in this big old world.
Through some crazy circumstances God took me (literally) to a little church in the middle-of-nowhere-land.
I’ll never forget that first Sunday. Unsure of where I was and what God was doing in my life at the time… I was searching for something I couldn’t describe then.
Today, for lack of a better description, I can say I was searching for a “connection”.
To what and who, I wasn’t sure.
But that first Sunday I made one connection in particular…
She doesn’t remember it, but I will never forget.
She was the only person – the first in a long time – that I had a real conversation with.
I was the shyest girl in the world, but that instant connection was all it took to make me feel at home in a crazy world I didn’t understand.
Two and a half years later, and we haven’t stopped talking since.
Some things can’t ever change with friendships like these… if the connection is strong, one look can see through your walls and defences.
It’s impossible for me to lie when she asks “how are you?”
The link to our connection is this - Jesus. 
Without Him, we wouldn't be who we are, and we couldn't live life as we are. 

I could go on and on… but the point is this.
There’s this thing in life called a connection.
It’s often inexplicable, but God created it.
Man has tried desperately to cheapen our connections with false advertising designed to “protect” us from getting hurt. Or even to falsify our connections by brainwashing us with social networking.

But God has a better plan.

God made the greatest connection when He bridged the gap between Himself and His image-bearers (that’s you and me).
Jesus is the greatest connection you will ever make.
With Him at the centre you can’t possibly lose out!
The only way you can ever become disconnected to His network is if YOU choose to let go!

When you’re connected to Jesus everything else just… connects.
Friendships, family… and then these often intertwine.
The family of God is an amazing place to be.

This is what the Church was designed to be.
A place of love and acceptance – a family.
A place where connections could be made and we can encourage eachother in the difficult times, and celebrate with one another in the exciting times.
Sometimes the world tries to taint us with the expectation that people connections can fill the void first, and Jesus comes second or third… or maybe its been even more than that for you.

If you have believed this, I’m sorry. That’s a lie.
The world is wrong.
It’s your connection with Jesus that needs to fill every aspect of your life.
Think of it, friendship without Jesus in the centre often ends in wounds and bitterness. And in the end only God can heal that.
Connections to your authorities – those who have input in your life – can only work if you first recognize that God chooses your authority, and you need to trust Him and obey.
Romantic relationships I can’t even begin to elaborate on or I’d be here all night!
But let me just say that it breaks my heart to see people set out on the adventure of romance without the connection of Jesus at the centre… it fizzles out faster than a candle in the rain.
Just look at the latest celebrity news and you’ll know just how well marriages without Jesus in them can last.
I’m sure it breaks our Creator’s heart… it wasn’t His plan at all.

But…
When we are truly connected to Jesus, it is incredible how He works things out in life!
Suddenly our friendships are deeper and richer.
We find that with His help we can trust our authority and respect their input in our lives.
And especially, with Jesus at the helm of our romantic endeavors – we are much less likely to stray into the uncharted waters of mistrust, temptation, guilt, shame, and regret.

I don’t know much about romance myself… but recently I discovered that even the simple fact of praying for a friend can reinforce your connection to Jesus.
When we connect to Jesus and begin to understand His heart on matters, I often find that as I’m asking something specific for someone, it is often exactly what they needed at that precise time of day.

Let me just leave you with this last thought…
What if God had a bigger connection for all of us?
What if we’re missing out on a more significant connection just for the simple fact that we “forget” to get connected to Jesus everyday?
How should we get connected?
First – read your Bible. Pray. Cultivate your relationship with Him first. Your vertical relationship has to be connected before you can ever expect to have your horizontal relationships work out.
I can’t begin to describe how important this is!

And second – …
There is really nothing else!
Jesus first – everything else will fall into place.
I promise… the more you seek Him the more you’ll find Him – the more you find Him, the more you’ll love Him.
He is life.
With Jesus at the centre, it’s impossible for you to lose in life – or even in death.

Connection.
Think about it… what are you connected to? 

1 comment:

  1. So blessed to share our loving Connector, Michelle.

    ReplyDelete