I am a total sap. If the Trix rabbit had shown up at my childhood breakfast table, I would have slid my bowl over to him and let him use my spoon.
That is, if I had been able to persuade Mom to buy a name brand cereal.
I always root for the underdog and if there is any good thing to be found in even the worst situations, I seek it out. It's the way I'm made. This personality trait, as idyllic as it sounds, has gotten me into trouble more than once, especially in interpersonal relationships. Consequently, some of my relationships are almost completely one-sided. I'm the one to make the phone call. I'm the one to send the birthday card or the holiday greeting, even though there is no reciprocation, sometimes for years. I simply refuse to shut the door, let alone slam it. Again, not altogether a bad thing. I always want to leave a way for a relationship on life-support to be revived.
But sometimes the cost of the one-sided relationship can be too high. Not to the one who sends the cards or dials the number, but rather to the one who receives the overtures, perhaps planning to respond, but putting it off day by day until the impulse passes.
In most cases something eventually happens that makes even my feeble attempts at life support fail. Usually, it's an envelope, marked, "no longer at this address," returning to my mailbox. Sometimes, it's a recorded message, "The number you have dialed is no longer in service." Actually, with cell phone technology and people changing plans every year or two, it's getting harder and harder to hold onto a number that is still in service. Email is just as bad.
I'm a sap, but not enough of a sap to continue to pay postage to send a letter to myself. If phone service isn't restored by the time I try again, I know that number will never be in service again. At least not for the party I'm trying to reach.
I'm not the only one involved in one-way relationships.
Every day, in many ways, God the Father calls to his creation. And, in the same way that I carefully select birthday greeting cards, tailored to each recipient, he calls to each one in a deep and personal fashion.
Some people love nature, rugged mountains, crashing waves, majestic sunrises or sunsets, lightning flashing in the night sky. It is God who created that rugged mountain, he set the boundary lines for the sea, his palette is filled with shades of purple, pink and blues and he paints the sky at day's end and at day's beginning.
Some people love being around other people. They enjoy every conversation or love a good debate. To them, each new face represents an entirely new world they are eager to explore. Since man is created in God's image, each man brings to life one or more of his characteristics. In fact, if there is any good thing in me at all, or in you, any thing noble or of good repute, it is from him. For only God is wholly good.
Other people come to life when someone is in need and find their purpose there. For every need, and there are many, there is someone destined to meet that need. God has designed us thusly, sometimes to receive, sometimes to give.
Sadly, it is a harsh and bitter reality that some people respond only in crisis, when the storms rage, or when pain and suffering come. Do not be deceived. God dares to go there as well. He who did not spare his own son, will not spare your flesh if it means sacrificing your soul.
Do you respond to God's overtures? Do you mean to, but put it off until the impulse passes, certain you'll have another opportunity? If so, you're only hurting yourself. You're depriving yourself of a vibrant, exciting, freeing relationship with the One who made you, who has loved you from first thought and with every thought.
God never slams the door. Time does.
"... Now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation." **2 Corinthians 6:2 (NIV)
I don't have all the answers, but I know the One who does. Let's walk together for awhile and discover Him together.