In a Relationship

I love Summer.

The days are longer, the air is warmer, and maybe it’s just me, but early morning iced coffee and late night ice cream with friends just seems sweeter.

I know that part of my love affair with summer has to do with the fact that I’m young and single. While I lay in a hammock in the California sunshine typing this, I have been switching back and forth to my Facebook where many of my young married friends with children have been chattering about plans to head to the swimming pool, the zoo, the museum, ect. For many, summer seems like a time to hit the ground running, but being in the stage of life that I am, Summer is a time for me to head the opposite direction and slow down.

Without lessons to be planned, papers to grade, or my own homework to do, I have had the pleasure of being able to fill my time with other things these first few weeks of summer vacation.

In the last month, I’ve read more for pleasure and have been able to go out to coffee and have some amazing heart-to-heart talks with friends, both new and old. I’m an incredibly relational person and there are few things that nurture my soul quite like building relationships with the people I love.

My favorite “over coffee” question? “What is God doing in your life right now?”

Roughly three months ago when one of my friends first asked me this question, I was semi-paralyzed. Shoot, I don’t know… I thought, right before my mind went entirely blank.

God seemed so big and abstract. I couldn’t really pinpoint anything specific that He was doing in my life.

But my dear friend (who shall remain nameless) takes a certain amount of joy in watching me squirm in challenging conversations, and week in and week out, he would ask me this until I had an answer. After a few weeks of healthy nudging, I realized something.

Maybe I couldn’t always pinpoint what God was doing in my life because my relationship with Him wasn’t very strong…

After all, I knew exactly what all my friends were doing with their lives because I spent all of my free time talking to them over coffee, but I had never considered doing the same thing with my Creator everyday.

Our Father is a relational God who created us to be in relationship with Him. (Weird how that works, huh?) As Jamie West Zumwalt says in her book Simple Obsession, God didn’t create us because He needed someone/something else to serve Him; He had the angels for that.

God created Adam and Eve and walked through the Garden of Eden with them everyday, simply because He could. God gave us His Son so that He could walk among and beside us. God put the Holy Spirit within all of His believers so that we could experience true unity with Him.

God wants our hearts. He wants our time. He wants to be in a relationship with us.

Think about it. When you begin a new relationship, you spend all of your time getting to know that person. You want to know what they think, what they love, what their heart longs for. And to do this, you have to spend quality time with them.

This quality time looks different for every couple. I have friends who have gotten to know their future husbands and wives over city adventures, coffee dates, dinners, movies, training for marathons, and all kinds of other crazy activities. But the important thing is never the activity planned, but the time spent together.

If we can find the time to spend quality time with our friends and loved ones, why not set aside time to date God? Pour your heart out to Him and listen to what He tells you. Begin building an intimate, loving relationship with your Creator.

It may seem strange, but this summer, I’m dating God. One cup of coffee and conversation at a time, we’re getting acquainted in new ways, through both His Word and my words. And let me tell you, it is a beautiful process.

Where is God working in your life this Summer? Is He calling you into closer relationship with Himself?

~

“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us.”

~1 John 4:10

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