Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Relationship Priority

Yesterday was bittersweet. Of the 13 kids I've been tutoring since September, eight of them did well enough on their benchmark reading tests to be removed from my tutelage. I was so pleased to know that more than half have displayed improvement, but man, I'm gonna miss those kids! I've been blessed with the replacement of eight others, plus one more, and I'm sure I'll develop an attachment to these kids, too, but for now, my heart is torn between losing my previous students and the joy of seeing their success.

It reminds me once again of the priority Jesus placed on relationships with his disciples. I can only imagine what he felt as he sent them out (Mark 6:6-13 and Luke 10:1-17), after teaching and training them, and having had them watch and live out with him his life and ministry. Those missions were the culmination of his investment in them. And notice, he didn't send them out alone. They went in groups (pairs, specifically). Now, I know there are those who are "people persons" and those who tend to be "loners."And I truly believe God created the difference on purpose. But, at the core of our beings, don't we want to live life with the support of those who matter most to us?

In their book, Captivating, the Eldridge's point out that we are wired to want meaningful, sustainable relationships. "Our lives were meant to be lived with others. As echoes of the Trinity, we remember something. Made in the image of a perfect relationship, we are relationship to the core of our beings and filled with a desire for transcendent purpose."

In other words, we don't want to be alone in life's adventures, because our holy, amazing, incomprehensible three-in-one God placed relationship at the very core of our existence, as it is for him.

Am I saying that every person needs a committed marital relationship in order to live life and be all they can be? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Never-married Lottie Moon affected China for more than 40 years, but she didn't do it alone. Few people know she actually went with her sister for the first few years, and then, when Edmonia (what a name!) returned home due to health, Lottie depended upon the encouragement of others through correspondence and visits in order to fulfill her calling.

What I am saying is that we all need someone else. Whomever that may be. It takes a painful kind of humility to admit that we are not an all-inclusive entity unto ourselves, but Satan uses that very line of thinking to hold back the Kingdom of God. Notice carefully that the only relationships he has are with demons. Aside from that, he is the antagonist, accuser, enemy and foe.

So, I'll be a little sad for today, but when I'm back in the classroom tomorrow, I'll look forward to seeing what's going to happen with this new conglomeration of kids. Because I have no doubt that God wants to see me invest myself in relationship with them as he has with me.

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