Monday, July 14, 2008

Relationships, Struggle and God

As is typically the case, the books I read help focus my thoughts on specific topics. Peter Rollins' most recent book is no different. It seems thus far that we agree about God being relational to the degree that he encourages interaction...even anger, questions and struggles.

Any married person knows that even in the best marriages there are times of anger, selfishness, compromise and power struggles. I don't think the analogy of God's relationship with us as a marriage is accidental. I think it is accurate and fair to say that true intimacy is only forged through conflict. How true is that in our walk with God? For me...and perhaps for many relationship with God grows in love and depth during and after periods of intense stress, relational strain and unusually frank prayer times. God isn't fragile and I am afraid that many times His followers confuse respect and reverence with relational dynamics.

For example, recently some dear friends celebrated their first anniversay (Congrats Ben and Jamie). If the next time Ben and I are at "Thirsty Thursday", our local minor league baseball team promo event, he said something like, "man, marriage is great. Jamie and I have made it through our first year without a single argument" I would think 1. Ben has had too much $1 beer; or 2. Ben has had so much $1 beer that he has started telling crazy lies; or 3. Ben and Jamie have a horrible marriage and one of them is always giving in or giving up. Perhaps the same could be said for the follower of Jesus that has never dealt with God in a way that seems to push the envelope.

I think God will be pleased with us as we begin to struggle with him and invest more than soft and surface-deep sentiments with our King. If you doubt what God thinks about this I can tell you that once, after an all night struggle with God, a man was blessed beyond belief...perhaps as we struggle with God we too will recieve a new name and new identities. How cool would that be?

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