I hate long-distance relationships.
Currently, my girlfriend lives about 3.5 hours away. But it might as well be a thousand miles with our busy schedules!
In my opinion, love is not meant to be stretched over a long distance. It can too easily be torn, tangled, or even broken. Or worse yet, forgotten about.
My girlfriend and I talk to each other on the phone pretty much every day. So that’s great. But I’m not a fan of talking on the phone, and texting is even more impersonal.
I’m a people-person and a visual learner. I want to see people, talk to them face-to-face (especially if they have a drop-dead gorgeous face like my girlfriend!). I hate being confined to a simple once-a-day chats where deep talks are cut short by busy schedules and romance is interrupted by 220 miles.
And yet, I’m totally fine with treating my relationship with God that way. In fact, I like to keep it long-distance. Sure, I talk to Him once a day, spouting off a list of demands. Okay, maybe I pray at meals, but am I really talking to God or impressing friends with piety? I’ll read His letter to me for a little bit and then go about my life as normal.
As if He never existed. As if He didn’t die for me. As if He wasn’t the greatest Being in the Universe. The Maker of the Universe. The God who knows me…and wants me to know Him.
And yet I want to hold this uncomfortable Deity at arms’ length.
Paul spent much of his life this way. Checking boxes in his relationship with God. Content that he was doing what God said–without actually knowing Him personally. Then his life was transformed. And all his piety became like a poopy diaper to him.
“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…” -Phil. 3:8a
I love Paul’s passion. It’s convicting–but I hope it’s contagious as I meditate on this passage. Because I really want to know Jesus. Yeah, I feel pretty good just getting by in life with fifteen minutes of devos and prayer at the beginning of the day.
But I don’t want to settle for “pretty good.” I want to yell out with Paul in verse 1o: “that I may know Him!”
It seems like a pretty lofty goal. But Paul clarifies in the next verse:
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.”
“Not that I’m already perfect.” That phrase should be my life verse. But he doesn’t stop there. No, he’s gonna press on to make this knowledge of Christ, this deep relationship with God his passion, goal, drive…
To own it!
I want that. Because Christ has made me His own. How did He do that? Not by just calling me for a few minutes each day from Heaven! No, He came down to my planet and took my sins and paid for them on the Cross. To build a deep, deep relationship with a deep, deep sinner.
Christ wants more than just to be my date or have a “Facebook-official” status. He wants more than a quick call every evening. More than any relationship here on earth can offer. He wants to be my closest friend. To be my all.
And the amazing thing is: He wants this even though He knows me! He embraces me, dirty rags and all.
I think I want to get to know Someone like that.