Recently while talking with a group of guys that I regularly meet with to discuss our faith we broached the following question.
What example would you use for your relationship with God as it is right now?
Now the pastor in me wanted to discuss the two biblical examples that God Himself uses again and again for His relationship with us. These are:
- The relationship of a spouse with another spouse
- The relationship of a parent with a child
Over and over again God uses these examples. For example, you can interpret the Song of Solomon as a love song between God and His people, much like a love song between two lovers. Smoother example is quite possibly Jesus’s most well known parable, the parable of the prodigal son (which is really more about the Father’s love than the son). In this parable God is described as a father who runs to his son who has left him home but now begun to return. You will see examples all throughout scripture of these two analogies for God’s relationship with us. These are main interpretive motifs for me for understanding what God says through scripture, He talks as a spouse and as a father.
Still neither the relationship of spouses nor parents and children were initially what came to me when I thought of what my relationship with God was at present. Instead I thought of the Terrell Family Facebook Message Thread.
I’m not sure when we started our family message thread, which Noah renamed “The Terrell Girl Squad!” in a nod to Strong Bad‘s “Teen Girl Squad” (which we as a family love). I assume it started when Adam went to college as a way for our family to talk throughout the day, but the message thread is so long that I’m having a hard time finding the end of it. I know it goes back at least 4 years – I stopped going backwards after that the fourth year.
We use this thread to talk about what we are experiencing around us, to get each other’s opinions and wisdom concerning subjects, to share info, to raze each other a little, and to talk about serious and deep subjects throughout our day. I’ve never tried to average how many messages we exchange a day but it is 11:52 a.m. as I am writing this and we have sent 45 messages (many of them very brief – one or two words) thus far today. This message thread shapes how I experience a large part of my day. I get excited about sharing parts of my day within the family message thread and hearing about what has happened around my family. I interpret much of my day based on the conversations that happen in this thread.
- If a project I have been working on gets a little closer to fulfillment, I look forward to sharing it with the Terrell Girl Squad. (For example, we added Christmas wreath lights to the house today and the family had input into what color these should be – the answer is boring white.)
- If I read something interesting, I look forward to sharing it with the Terrell Girl Squad.
- If I just saw WISCONSIN MAN (a guy in our neighborhood who always dresses from head to toe in Wisconsin Badger gear and we shout in heroic voices “WISCONISIN MAN” whenever we see him), I look forward to sharing it with the Terrell Girl Squad.
- If I have a question that I am struggling with, I look forward to sharing it with the Terrell Girl Squad.
- Etc., etc., etc.
My family, through the constant conversation of the “Terrell Girl Squad” message thread, shapes how I experience and understand my day. It is like my family is with me throughout my day. This is why it helps me to understand my relationship with God.
Paul encourages us to “pray continually“. I believe part of praying continually is this ongoing dialogue with God concerning what is happening in our days.
- Jesus, I just read this fascinating statement in the book “White Trash” that states that national myths don’t develop without us forgetting parts of our history. What parts of my life have I turned into myths and what parts have I forgotten.
- Jesus, I’m feeling pretty (insert emotion here). Why is that and died it mean anything?
- Jesus, I haven’t seen WISCONSIN MAN in a long time. I hope he’s ok.
- Etc.., Etc., Etc.
In such a way we begin to be see and interpret our day through Christ. We recognize that God is involved in all that is going on around us and we see things through His eyes.
Thus my family’s constant conversation through a Facebook message thread is helping me to understand how my relationship with God should be. Who says Facebook is good for nothing. 😉