When I let my mind wonder, I am always entertained by what comes across it. Yesterday morning, I was changing sheets on the bed, thinking of nothing specific, when a memory of an old boyfriend came out of nowhere. Now I don’t know what one should be contemplating at 6:25 AM , but a relationship from almost ten years ago isn’t it! At first I just dismissed it, but then I realized just how much depth this memory had.
Let me give you the back story and brace yourself – this story comes with a good bit of explanation points! When I was in my early 20s, my dad set me up with someone. I’m talking about the all time record breaker for blind dates! We will call him Jack. Jack was a very nice guy, of course, but those first few weeks of dating were obviously all kinds of awkward!
Now I don’t remember the details that sparked this conversation that I’m about to tell you. I believe we were going somewhere or doing something where I would be meeting some of Jack’s friends and family for the first time. As we’re talking about this upcoming event, Jack asks me the very pointed question of, “What are we?”
Wow, don’t you just love uncomfortable questions like that? Well, I handled it with perfect grace…..please! I stammered all over myself! Mostly because I didn’t completely understand what he was asking but I was way too embarrassed to ask him to clarify. I could tell that he was just as unsettled as I was, so instead of rewording his question or explaining further, he just stood there staring me down! Tick-tock, tick-tock…….I’m pretty sure there were crickets chirping in the background during this endless time span of misery. He wanted an answer to a question that had me totally stumped.
I’m thinking, “what are we? We’re dating. You know what we are!” Then it hit me, he was asking about a title, a label. About this same time, I guess Jack finally clued in that I was struggling, so he made himself more clear. He explained that he would be introducing me to people the following day and wanted to make sure that we were both on the same page with the introduction. Was it going to be this is my girlfriend Summer, this is my friend Summer, this is my whatever Summer…..what was I comfortable with? Basically it was going to be my decision as to how the relationship would be defined and represented.
Let me preface my response by saying that improv is definitely my gift…now. But at this time in my life, I didn’t have an improv atom in my being! Therefore, my absurd response ( and yes, I remember it perfectly because I was and still am SO embarrassed by what I said!) was, “Sure. You may as well claim me as your girlfriend. You’ve spent money on me for a month.”
What in the world?!! Where did that come from? Claim me! Spent money on me! I tell you if I had the years of Methuselah and the wisdom of Solomon I would still never figure out where I pulled that crazy response from! So, I had officially declared us to be boyfriend and girlfriend because Jack had “bought” me! Now you see why I still bear that humiliation! I couldn’t have just simply said,” How do you feel about it, Jack?” and put the ball back in his court. No, I had to start rambling! Instead of a shoe in my mouth, I packed in the whole department store! Oh the shame!!!
All kidding and humor aside, though, Jack’s question was a deep one. What are we? I imagined if God asked me that question how would I respond? Obviously I would say that I was His child. A Christian since I was 17 and that would be true. But if I looked at my relationship with God out of “dating” type eyes, what am I with Him?
I am a Christian, just like Jack and I were obviously dating, but did I want a “girlfriend ” title? Do I want a “follower’s” title? You see, it wasn’t enough for Jack and I to just have dinner together once a week anymore than it is ok to only just attend church every Sunday. If that is all of the time and effort that you ever invest, your relationship will not grow earthly or spiritually. I knew that once I agreed to “girlfriend “, my relationship would gradually transition. We would start learning and understanding each other more and growing closer.
In the same way, to be a “follower” of Christ, you must do just that – follow. As you put your faith and trust in Him minute by minute, your relationship will gradually transition. You will begin learning, understanding and growing closer to God. We, as Christians are referred to as the Bride of Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:2 says, “I am jealous for you with a Godly jealous. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to Him.” NIV.
I don’t know about you, but I take relationships very seriously and fight like a mama bear to protect them. My relationships with family, friends, coworkers, business contacts and church family all have major value to me. How much more emphasis and protection should I put toward my relationship with my Savior and Deliverer? What are we? What are you? Are you a Christian like Jack and I were dating or is your relationship deepening daily in pursuit of Him? Are you striving to follow?