Synonyms: affinity, connection, family relationship, human relationship, relationship, kinship
As a child we find ourselves in relationship to everyone around us by no real choice of our own. We live with those associations without much influence to change them whether they are beneficial or detrimental. When we are farther along in our time we can choose the majority of our relationships. We can include or exclude as we please but there is far more to this reality in the light of our Father in Heaven.
I have been so blessed by so many of the relationships in my life it gives me cause to contemplate. These last few months I have been increasingly aware of the people around me. It is a mystery for the most part best left to God, these people who come to mean so much to your daily travels through this tangible world on our path from death to life. One moment you were oblivious to the existence of a person that within weeks you whole heartedly cherish in your life. This is how I see it in my minds eye.
Think about all the different people and groups of people you are associated with. To do this lets think in terms of proximity. Proximity has everything to do with the amount of exposure you have to each individual that is a member of your associations. This means both how close they are to you in space and how much time you are in their presence during the weeks, months, or years that you have before you lose contact with them.
We have time and we make choices as to how much of it we spend with these associations. The more we enjoy the company of another the more we devise ways to use the time we have to be with them. Most times we never spend as much time as we would like with those we favor most. There are countless other factors to consider. How close can we grow to those we desire to be with? What is the appropriate level of familiarity to foster the closest connection while honoring God and growing closer in the family of God.
Here is what I am finding. People are all neatly layered socially, most prominently by shared experiences. There is a natural order that we are sifted into by what our particular community feels most comfortable with. Children are allowed to move within their realm, young adults have there prescribed sphere, unmarried individuals move about in their fold, families with babies are sharing their new experience, parents with growing children, then empty nesters, then the folks who have many years past, and finally the outcasts and drop outs.
The truth is if we are all responsive to God’s call the boundaries of these layers begin to flex and we have the moral power and the spiritual freedom to move across every layer. In this reality are amazing benefits and learning opportunities that allow us to become what God is always calling us to be. Do you have vital friendships with your piers? What about with your elders? Do you have genuine friendships with children? How about young families? Prayerfully seek relationship with everyone God places in your path. Do not be reckless but cautiously foster your friendships to bring glory to God and joy to your own life!