Certain labels come with the mystic of quality, durability, and being best in class anywhere in the world. Others have lost their luster in one country while establishing it at the top of their game in others. Cars that are inexpensive and entry level have a moderate luxury status in other locations while their competitors are known for being durable luxury items in one country while competing on a, at best, even keel with the cheap cousin in another.
In many ways one wonders what makes a pair of jeans so-so in California while instantly recognized as being a leading brand in India. The questions were partially answered as I walked through a jeans section of a store with a large group of tourists during the early evening. Once I finished my job, helping others bargain, I lost myself checking out the sale racks of stone washed jeans. How could these jeans be on sale for this price? There must be something wrong with them! As I turned them over the automatic comparison with the higher quality products came into play. Within four or five key points, the method and quality of stitching, the type of placement of rivets on the front pockets, the weight of the cloth, the finish on the seams, and the cut of the cloth all advertised just how good this product really was and is.
I walked away from the jeans with a puzzle on my mind. Do I know what constitutes a true, honest, and strong relationship with Divinity? Am I relying on simple externals without any attempt to examine the details? Are there four or five “things” that define something extraordinary?
John records the moment of one such recognition. “There's a real Israelite, not a false bone in his body.” (John 1.47)
I sit, watching the sun come up over the beach and I walk through the checkpoints. Our relationship with God is defined by Compassion, Openness, Transparency, Accountability, and passionate Mercy. Put these in action and you one something special – a relationship with God. Available now, prayer one.