As I went off to boarding school in my pre-puberty days, I knew I was not going to talk with my mother or father for several months. It was a sacrifice we, all of us, made so that I could get an education. If I was going to learn, grow, and continue the process of moving into adulthood, I had to leave. From that day forward, relationships with family and my soul changed.
I look back and realize that in the first moments I knew that being intentional in the relationships I valued was the only way I could function. Doing nothing was not an option. Even when I did not write, I found myself spending time reflecting, remembering, and treasuring the time we had together. At the time, making a telephone call was not a viable alternative. Long distance calls were, especially in India, extremely expensive, unreliable, and problematic. We could not even imagine computers, a world wide web, mobile devices, or email. When I was gone, even as I was physically separate, I was with the ones I loved in spirit.
Today we have incredible tools that are forever getting easier, cheaper, and more convenient. Yet far too often, I find myself not being intentional. I take the tools for granted. I find myself getting lost in the virtual world each of us lives in.
I am fortunate to have Whitney in my life. If we are going to talk while I am away, she wants it to be tangible, real. Her vehicle of choice is a fax. For me it has and is an incredible discovery of being intentional in my relationship. As a result, I see every relationship differently. I do not find life in the voids. It is in living and engaging.
“This God says: ‘I am God, the one and only. I don't just talk to myself or mumble under my breath. I never told Jacob, ‘Seek me in emptiness, in dark nothingness.’ I am God. I work out in the open, saying what's right, setting things right’” (Isaiah 45.19)
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