Friendship – Fire & Ice

Some of the most memorable moments of my life have been sitting around a fire with friends.  I remember a particular day when I was 13.  It was the beginning of a week of camp and I challenged God to reveal himself to me.  I looked for him everywhere starting in the campfire.  I found him everywhere… starting in the campfire.

How could a creator make such wonderful things?  How could God reveal himself in the love that people showed me in such a remarkable way?  How could man explain the creation of the universe without God?  It just wasn’t possible that this exists without design and a creator.  How can one understand love except to first receive it from someone else?

This week past week (while I was in Colorado) I had an awesome experience getting to know some of my co-workers around a warm hearth in the dim lights of the evening. Many of my teammates have jobs where we work remote so it’s rare that we have an opportunity to gather together and just talk about life, family, and of course business.

I also had a few moments, cold and alone on the top of a mountain.  I thought about the prospect of finding my way to warmth without anyone’s help if suddenly I was stuck on that mountainside.  It was a scary thought being alone, but I knew I wasn’t really alone.

Working remotely can sometimes be lonely.  I spend a lot of time doing email, conferencing or talking on the phone with coworkers, partners and customers, but not a lot in person (lately except for these trips).  Though we say a lot, it’s impossible to really get to know people, how they live, their personalities, and their life challenges this way. There’s something about looking in the white of someone’s eyes, shaking their hand, and sharing a meal that can’t be replaced with technology.

Surprisingly, I fear that my generation is not the first to discover this.  Rather, this has been an age old problem for thousands of years. Just examine the difference between “religion” and a “relationship” with God.  Have you ever stared into the white of God’s eyes, shaken his hand, or shared a meal with him, or do you just pretend to have a relationship with him when it’s convenient?  For many, a relationship with God is like talking to an imaginary friend on the phone.  Admittedly I’ve felt this way myself at different times of my life.

But things are different now.  I can’t say that I’ve met God face to face in person, but I’ve met him face to face in the lives of others who serve him.  I sense his presence in myself and others.  I’ve come to know when he’s leading me to go or do something and I’ve seen him act in my life and in others in unexplained ways, through dreams, circumstances, visions, and promptings.  I’ve seen him act on prayer, heal people, and open doors that should have been shut.

It’s not a one-way communication when God is at work in your life, but it does require seeking and listening in different ways.  God desires a relationship with us in person, not a text conversation.  His technology is hardwired into our hearts, minds and into the world around us.

Our technology is no substitute, it is an illusion to make us think we have relationships, when it reality we are cold and alone instead of in a group huddled around the fire.

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