There comes a time and a place where one must sit down and consider the past. For many, this comes during the end of a season or the end of a year. As I sit and think about the past year, I am baffled by all that has happened in my life. I think that sometimes we live our lives moment to moment, constantly driving towards the next accomplishment and goal. This rhythm produces a profound effect on our lives and the lives of the people around us. We become producers of content, from our 140 character tweets to our daily conversations and we become content in our lives of producing.
The good Lord has provided many opportunities to develop relationships, and in doing so, many opportunities to fail at developing relationships. It’s in that space, when we can quietly reflect on things that we could have done better, times where our worship went astray that we can learn from our mistakes. Time that we can repent, confess and return to worshiping the Creator. It amazes me that throughout my life, God continues to bring leaders that are patient enough to walk through the maturation process and loving enough to love, even when my heart is not in the right place. It amazes me that God was gracious enough to provide a wife for me that loves me regardless of how she feels about me in that moment. It amazes me that I have the family that I have, knowing that I don’t deserve that gift. There comes a time when you have to reflect on the gifts given.
The idea of radical reconciliation is so foreign to the world that we live in. The world that produces content at 140 character tweets and insta-everything. We take in and we push out more information than ever in the history of the world and in that process we lose part of the commitment that our words have had in the past. It seems to me that friendships and family are disposable terms in our current culture. That the words, “I love you” are little short of, “we are friends now, because you are doing what I want.” This systemic interaction produces the same level of commitment that our 140 words do. Approximately 7 minutes of life in the twittersphere. So the question begs, how do we radically reconcile our relationships and bring them to a point where they mean more than the tweet? It’s a complex problem, as all human interactions are. There are endless possibilities, more numerous than the sand of the sea. I don’t think that the solution is as complex. I think that the solution is rather simple, actually. The solution is found in our understanding of ourselves and the willingness to accept our condition.
In short, God has given us everything that we have. Our relationships, our material goods and the life that live. We manage to only bring destruction to the table. Our sin nature to put it simply. If this is true, the order of reconciliation should look something like, I have committed so much destruction and sin in my life that there is no room for me to judge you on any level. Therefore, because of my condition, I have no right to do anything except forgive and reconcile. In doing so, I will go out of my way to ensure that our relationship edifies the people around us.
The problem with radical reconciliation is that forces us to move from the field of competition, to the field of reconciliation. It forces us to put down our pride, our self righteous indignant flesh. We don’t live in a reconciled world, because we still want to live in the world of “me.” Unfortunately, the world of me creates destruction. The world of me wrecks lives and causes discontentment within our communities. The world of me rips through the relationships in our lives, producing communities that can’t trust and don’t want to live together. The world of me, disrupts and ruins the world that I live in.
There comes a time and a place that we have to reflect on the past, and my prayer is that as we look at the past, as we gaze into the future. A future where all things will be made new. A future that the brokenness of this world will be no more. In doing so, we gaze at the One who can change our hearts radically, so we might be able to reconcile our relationships.