I am thinking about how relationships work. How time spent together plus proximity equals intimacy.
I am thinking about friends, just back in town. How easy it is to slide back into a groove. How time apart presses pause, except for the milestones. This person had a baby. That person moved. This job now. That death. I am thinking about how little the milestones matter when it comes to intimacy. How important the details are.
Now that these friends are back, I remember the details. The way they laugh. The food they like to eat. And don’t like to eat. I remember a year’s worth of YouTube videos we haven’t laughed at together. What they know about who I know. What they think about our new dog and how they treat him. I think of all the little things I want to share with them now that they are here.
We never stopped being friends but we stopped, I think, being intimate. A closeness was lost without time and proximity.
I am wondering how that closeness might apply to other relationships.
I am wondering whether the same rules apply to my relationship with God.
Does time plus proximity equal intimacy with the Creator? Do minor details matter more than major milestones? Do I laugh with God? What does God think of my dog? What does God like to eat? I do not have clear answers. I think I might have, once upon a time.
Recently, going through old journals, I remembered how once we were closer. God and I. More intimate, I think. Now I save our conversations for the milestones. The deaths and sickness. The threadbare and broken marriages. The job searches. Maybe that is all we ever talked about, but I don’t think so.
My theology would tell me that God has never moved away. I may once have told me that I moved, and thus killed proximity, but I’m not sure I believe that now. I believe God stays close, always waiting. Eternally patient. Ready for me to look up, catch his eye and smile.
But there is also time. That part, I think, is up to me.
Time spent is pretty important to any relationship. I haven’t done so well with time and I am wondering what intimacy that has cost me. I am wondering what God and I might have together if I spent more time. Shared the details. Ate and laughed together.
I’m not quite sure how to get there.
I’m not sure any relationship fits any equation, really. But time and proximity certainly cannot hurt any search for intimacy. And when that intimacy may be had with the Lord of all, they are certainly worth a try.