Primary concern of the Holy Spirit

Like most Americans, I am seduced by the big blockbuster films. But, more and more, I have come to appreciate and love the "little" films: films that are personal, that focus on intimate relationships, that show us inside the human heart. I think I am becoming that way as I realize more and more what I want from life: intimacy. I want to know someone else as well as I think I know myself.

First on my list of "People to Know," of course, is God. But second, since I'm not married, is...

That's the question, isn't it: who to spend time with, who to get to know?

Since the field is limited as to who will let me get to know them intimately, the answer almost becomes: anyone that's available. But since I believe that God is the one who makes people available to us, that's not such a bad answer. I can therefore ask the question, "Who has God made available for me to get to know intimately, personally?"

When I think about it, there are some first-class, top-drawer people on that list. It's just a matter of taking advantage of them when they're available.

Reading is one way to get to know people personally and intimately without their even knowing it. Film is another, brief way. Or at least film gives us the illusion that we've gotten to know someone intimately. Of course, actually spending time with someone is the best way, and the way God intended. Journaling is a way to get to know ourselves intimately. And reading the Bible and prayer are the main ways to get to know God.

If, as I perceive, intimacy really is at the heart of life and our reason for being here, then we should pursue it with a passion. We should construct our lives to accommodate it. We should take time, as Jesus did, to enjoy it. Instead, though, we have constructed lives of busyness, where it becomes more and more difficult to spend meaningful time with people. Intimacy is the ever elusive butterfly that we watch flit away as we do the next thing on our schedule. And then we wonder why our lives feel so empty and our relationships so superficial.

Intimacy has to be prioritized, but it can never be scheduled. It is a matter of being "in the moment" with the person we are with. It is a matter of loving our neighbor as ourselves. Yes, we do have to seek opportunities; but it is really more a matter of taking advantage of the opportunities that are there. It is really a matter of NOT scheduling less meaningful activities so we will be available for the meaningful opportunities that make themselves available spontaneously. It is a matter of being available to God's Spirit.

God wants us to have intimacy, so it's not like we're trying to do something and everything is against us. God is for us; only the world is against us. So if we will gear our lives around what He is doing, rather than what the world is doing, we will be at the right place at the right time to have those intimate relationships. It's really not as hard as it may seem; but we have to change our priorities.

I would rather live my life like one "little" film that is intimate and personal than a dozen blockbuster films that are superficial and showy. I'd rather be the hero of the moment than the hero of the world. Blockbuster lives may end up in the history books, but I wonder how many of them end up in heaven. I wonder if Christ would have ended up in the history books if he hadn't started a major religion. If he had just lived his life intimately, personally, loving and serving people - not turning the Roman Empire on its ear - and if the Bible hadn't been written about him, I wonder if anyone would even know he had existed?

Intimacy - the primary concern of the Holy Spirit.


Waitsel Smith, October 8, 2007

Text © 2007 Waitsel Smith. All Rights Reserved.

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