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  • Writer's pictureJill Jarrell Newsome

Relationships Are A Choice

This ;summer I had several chances to think about friendships and how they really do take work. I have a friend from high school who comes to town to visit family and calls Mike and I each time, to get together. Living in different states it would be easy to lose touch as life goes on but, with work, we have stayed in touch. Because Mike had just had surgery, our friend came to our house to visit when he was in town. Another day I was able to meet the whole family at the beach and spend the day visiting. Another best friend, from seventh grade, lives out of town but stays in touch. We try to get together with he and his wife a couple of times a year but with COVID and busy lives it would be easy to lose touch but one of us always calls. During our move, this friend texted saying he knew we were busy but we needed to catch up. He was right and we put a date on the calendar and got together this week. Another high school friend comes in town and we always hang out! We chat often and share much. Then there are friends in town who I never get to see but when we do, we pick up where we left off! I think it is such a special blessing when friends are willing to put the work in to keep a relationship going.

No matter our age or what season we are in, our life can be filled with busyness. We know all relationships grow when you spend time with someone. It takes effort to have a relationship with friends or family. What about God? We must make that relationship a priority through effort and intention. Years ago I had to give a talk on "priorities", actually, I had to give it three different times. Do you think God was working on me? I know He was. I remember reading if you want to know what your priorities are, look at your checkbook. (It has been a while - look online now!) Where do you spend your money? Where do you spend your time. I was very guilty of staying busy.. If I had thirty minutes before picking my girls up, instead of being quiet and still, I would go to a store and shop for a little while. None of this busyness restored my soul! Exodus 20: 3, "You shall have no other gods before me." How many things occupy my time? Was shopping an idol? I think it was. It took my time, money, thoughts and attention!

Jesus had to go and be quiet with God so of course we need to! Mark 1: 35, "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." Luke 6:12, "One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God." Matthew 14:23, "After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone..." Jesus longed for that time with His Father! He knew that was the only way to receive rest and renewal.

Our most important relationship is our relationship with God. Making time for God through prayer, worship, praise, sitting still or being in His Creation will strengthens our relationship. Talk to God. Spend time in His Word. Remember what Corrie ten Boom said, "If the devil cannot make us bad, he will make us busy."

"Relationships last long because two people made a choice. The decision to keep it, to fight for it, and to work hard for it."


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