On Thursday of last week, I drove my mom and dad to Arkansas. We went to the town (Wilmar) where she grew up. It was fun to stay with my aunt (my mom's sister) and see another aunt and uncle, a number of cousins and their spouses and their children (and even their spouses). I had not been there in a number of years. I was very glad I went. As long as I am alive, these people in southern Arkansas will be family. And--they are a part of some very good memories.
Sometimes, we grow up with people or become friends with people and then lose touch. Perhaps we do not invest much in our friendships. We may not invest very much in our own extended or even our immediate family. For example:
- Parents and adult children who rarely call or visit with one another. Far too many adult child rarely call or visit their parents. On the other hand, some parents will sit at home passively waiting for someone to call them (instead of taking the initiative to make the call themselves). Siblings can do the same with one another.
- Friendships that are one sided. Have you had a friendship in which you were the one who always initiated getting together? If you and your friend were ever going to get together, you were the one who made that happen.
- Churches where it is difficult, if not impossible, to break in. Have you ever been a part of a church where it was so hard to make friends? Maybe you invited people over or met some people at a restaurant. Yet, no one else seemed to take the initiative to invite you over. Perhaps you know what is like to be a part of a Bible class where everyone was buzzing about a trip some of them took to a state park. You knew nothing about plans for such a trip. You felt left out and awkward.
Many people are very passive about their relationships. They wait for something to happen. They wait for their wife or husband to make the first move. They wait for a family member to call and yet never pick up the telephone to call that person. They wait for a friend to invite. They wait for someone to come see them. They wait, wait, and wait.
Contrary to this, I believe I have to take the initiative with people most of the time. Fair or unfair--that is just life. I choose not to spend my life passively waiting for other people. That is often a dead-end street.
Some people will disappoint. Some people will be passive. Some people rarely follow through ("We'll call you and invite you over for dinner.").
Meanwhile--God does not disappoint. He is active. He follows through with whatever he promises. He has taken initiative through Jesus. I'm thankful he did not passively stand by. Instead, he stepped in and took action.