My best friend, let’s call him Yoda, recently left the States for long-term missions work. This is great news for the Kingdom and those he’ll be ministering to, but terrible news for selfish, little, old me. I know he’ll be safe and, just as important, effective, but I’d just rather have him here; at least just a few nights of the week maybe. Perhaps he could get a private jet or simply evangelize on public Skype channels. But no, he had to leave. It’s something I understand, but don’t like. Yet in light of it, we both seem to agree that neither of us want to be forgotten and so we’ve insisted on setting up little reminders throughout our lives; small tokens and mental notes that usher a sense of each others presence. He’s only been gone for two weeks, but our memories are living strong. Though I’ve begun to wonder. What if he were gone for over two thousand years?
At the possibility of my best friend forgetting me, I catch a mere glimpse of the pain, frustration, and longing Jesus could feel for those of us He’s reconciled. How many reminders of Himself has He placed throughout my day that I fail to give attention to? How many times can I pledge to Him my heart on Sunday, with barely a trace of commitment found on Monday? Is ignoring His Word and prayer much different than ignoring my best friend’s emails and text messages?
I believe it is simply communication that could strengthen mine and Yoda’s long-distance relationship. And just the same, the absence of communication could destroy it. In my relationship with Jesus, this begs the question: Is my level of communication strengthening or destroying the relationship I enjoy with my Creator? He has, after all, promised a return.