the beach/relationships

I am at the beach … Florida, sand, sun, waves, quiet. Because it’s the middle of the week and it’s winter, there is no one here. This has been wonderful for me and Jenifer to enjoy each other with no distractions. It has also made me think … a lot.

As I look at the waves hit the beach, the ocean has an inescapable impact. It breaks you – it is overwhelming. I can imagine the days when people were afraid of the ocean – before cruise ships, radar, and other technologies that have allowed us to “master” the sea. The ocean is certainly a window into the depths of God’s character – His power, beauty, majesty, infinity, but perhaps even more than we are able to see in a technological society.

What has struck me over the past few days is just how much relationships are like this ocean … they have an inescapable impact – they are overwhelming, and yet, “technology” has allowed us to master them. Really, we’ve learned how to manage the frigthening impact that relationships have on us and therefore minimized the window that relationships are for knowing God. Jenifer and I started reading a book called The Mystery of Marriage … the author, Mike Mason, said this: “For the interior journey is necessarily an exterior journey, the path to God necessarily the path of deepening human relationships.”

Mason also comments about love that “there is no one who is not broken by this process. It is excruciating and inexorable, and no one can stand up to it. Everyone gets broken on the wheel of love, and the breaking that takes place is like nothing else under the sun.” He goes on to say that many run from this breaking. I know that I have … while I haven’t “left” my wife physically, I haven’t allowed our relationship to break me and push me. I run – I hide. I can see some ways in which I’ve been broken, but Jenifer and I very independent people and can easily manage. I can also see how I run and hide from being broken by other relationships as well.

God is gently and graciously changing my paradigm from seeing life as an opportunity for “happiness-based” pleasure to seeing life as an opportunity for “holiness-based” pleasure. Happiness being the presence of non-conflict – and holiness being the presence of brokenness and humility before the reality of God. I want holiness – however painful it may be to my ego.

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~ by Ted Wueste on December 6, 2007.

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