The Goal is Intimacy
As a social media manager I spend a lot of time researching the trends in today’s marketing. The interesting thing is that we’re moving from marketing that “shouts” to marketing that “engages”. People want to do business with people who know how to connect with them, hear what they have to say, and then respond.
Interestingly enough, as I continue on my journey of “Free Living” and non-religious Christianity, I keep coming up against the same message. People are not looking for behaviour modification. They’re not looking for rules. They’re not looking for systems. They’re looking for relationship. They want relationships with each other, and a relationship with God.
This is easier said than done. After 50 years in the church I can tell you all about the rules. I am, however, clueless about the relationship. I’ve even realized that many of the human relationships I built in that system aren’t really “real” relationships either – they disappeared when I left. So, the search begins.
How do you “get intimate” with a God you can’t see with your eyes, or feel with your hands? In my current journey, I’m finding that this is a huge question. I’m finding some success by just trying to open my spirit to God’s spirit and listening for His promptings. Sometimes this works. I let God wake me in the night for prayer. I listen to great podcasts as I walk.
In most of my religious church upbringing I was always afraid of doing something wrong. I was always striving to do enough. I worked myself into burnout with no visible benefits. Now I’m realizing that – just as with my “real” relationships with family and friends – I’m not as concerned about behaviour as I am about heart direction. We all make mistakes, and that never changes how I feel about my friends and my family. I “get” their hearts, and know where they’re coming from. It’s the same with God. If I can stop worrying about measuring up to some invisible standard, and just focus on being myself and letting Him reveal who He is, things work a little better. It’s about relationship, not rules, and while that’s much more difficult to define, it is so much more freeing to live!
And isn’t it true that in this modern age of hyper communication, what we’re all seeking is just a little more honest intimacy with real people?
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