We are in New York City for a couple of days. Talk about culture shock. On Friday night I walked thirty blocks up 3rd Avenue to our hotel on 42nd Street. It was great. Along the way I enjoyed the sights and sounds of the city. A couple of thoughts came to mind.
First I thought about the character, Mark, in the hit Broadway Show "Rent." He was the videographer who captured images of the city. As I walked by myself I listened in to several conversations. I tried to pretend that I was a resident and to figure out what life in the city was really like. Were people leading quiet lives of desperation? Or were they living life to its fullest?
One woman was worried about her friend and the guy she was going out with. He always bossed her around. Another girl was talking to her boyfriend on the cell phone and she said, "Were you drunk when you hit your heard?" A third couple was holding hands and trying to decide where to go for dinner. As I listened in it hit me that so much of these conversations were about relationships. I chuckled as I thought about that television show "Sex and the City." I've only seen bits and pieces of the show. From what I have seen, the story lines are all about these ladies relationships as they make their lives in New York. It dawned on me that the creators of that show were onto something. In my brief walk down Third Avenue, I felt I was in the middle of a typical episode.
Of course so much of our energy is put into our relationships isn't it? We are constantly dealing with our spouses, children, parents and co-workers. Relationships make up the fabric of our lives. Learning how to get along is an ongoing process. I like what Rick Warren says in the Purpose Driven Life. God created us to be part of God's family. We need to learn to get along. He suggests that if we can get along with each other in the church, then we can get along with anybody.
He goes on to suggest that it can only happen if we begin with a relationship with God. I think he is right. Maybe that is why so many relationships are in trouble. We don't put God first and it affects everything else in our lives. When we practice the things God calls us to do the way in which we relate to others begins to change. We become more forgiving, more patient, more loving.
It seems like a good thing to me. So as we look ahead to a brand new year, I recommend making it a point to spend a little more time with Jesus. Everything else will flow a little better from there.