For example, when I was chasing my wife through the dating stage, I was overjoyed to devote every spare moment I could find, to the upkeep of that pursuit. It made my heart beat faster just to think about her (still does). And, I happily devoted all of the extra energy generated by that elevated heart rate to getting to know her, besting the competition (and, there was some), and newly examining myself and my behavior through her eyes.
All of these relational activities and many more, though sometimes very challenging of heart, still, ultimately, just became blended and blurred into what seemed to me to be the most joyous thing in my young life. And there was absolutely never any thought of these activities being “too challenging” or “too intrusive to my larger plan.” Indeed, she was my larger plan.
A few years after my wife and I were married, I ran into another such high maintenance relationship with Jesus Christ. And, it turned out to be the same kind of a deal. This relationship with Christ also suddenly turn my world upside down, as everything started to be viewed through the lens of my relationship to Him.
And, while that relationship also has been, sometimes, very challenging, it has never entered my mind that it is so challenging as to simply not be worth it. Nor, have I ever thought of limiting how far I would go in this high maintenance relationship, or where I would let it take me, or how I would let it change me.
And, why would I think such things? Just as before with my wife, every aspect of this high energy pursuit of God’s friendship has now, also become blended and blurred into the most exciting and meaningful thing that I could imagine - joyfully impacting the whole spectrum of my life.
But sadly, the more modern Church seems now to be largely missing the excitement, beauty, and fulfillment of this high maintenance approach to the divine friendship. Rather, now, in large numbers, we seem to prefer a much more balanced approach where God fits neatly into line somewhere between Facebook, family, friends, vocations, vacations, social obligations, and hobbies.
The problem is, when it comes to relationship, God is never content to fit into our nicely balanced life line-up. Contrary to the modern ethos, as He has always been, He is still a very high maintenance relational pursuit.
But, indeed, this is a very good thing. When it comes to God, we will only ever know this “with abandonment” kind of pursuit to be a bad thing if we insist on comfortable, neat, balanced, and limited in our relationship with Him. God just doesn't do relationship that way. So, we will never know a truly redemptive and deeply fulfilling relationship with Him if we insist on such a "low voltage" approach.