Partnerships are funny entities. People like to think of them as simply the relationship between individuals sharing a common goal. The problem with that assumption occurs on several levels. People often suspect the motives of another, projecting their own ideas of self protection, pride, and greed. The circumstances that bond two together can and will change. The very goal that both parties were going after may not exist, then what? The list of what can break things apart is endless; perception, real pain, and needs by one or both. When everything is done, for good or worse, the measure that defines the life status of a partnership is trust. With trust there is hope, without trust signifies death.
“Loners who care only for themselves spit on the common good.” (Proverbs 18.1)
A friend called yesterday and cashed in a chip. It wasn’t a hard call on my part; the request was reasonable and friendly. As I replayed the conversation I could see the elements coming into play. He reminded me of our common goals. He openly talked about his motive. The dynamics of the opportunity were discussed and the benefit for all clearly articulated. And the possible negatives were acknowledge and a commitment made by all to share regardless of either event. This became another example of where we traveled on together.
Examples of long partnerships are here for us to observe. I know of several marriage relationships that grew and nurtured each other over decades through the good, bad, and the uncertainties of life. I have seen business relationships that are more real and tangible than many families. Experiencing the love of a brother, father, or mother in ways that make you more than otherwise you would be helps. Then there are the friendships that defy logic; solid, tightly bound, and strong.
I have come to God as a partner across each of these definitions. While it may seem that God is a loner, I find that he is everything but. Sacrifice, compassion, and love are his only motives. He loves you and me, always.