Defining the Relationship

We’re back after a 2-week blog sabbath. Thanks for allowing us to practice what we preach and give our full attention to our teenagers and friends at CampOC. It’s good to be back to our normal schedule.

Most of us have had at least one of those conversations. You know, the one that comes at THAT moment in the relationship – the time to sit down and have “The Talk”. It’s the conversation that most men dread. It’s time to define the relationship.

If you’ve ever participated in one of these talks, you know the inherent danger that lies within. “Are we just friends or more than that?” “Is this casual or exclusive?” These types of conversations could lead to long term commitment or a quick and bitter end.

But the real danger lies in never having the conversation.

One of the most under appreciated facts about Jesus was the definition he brought to all of his relationships. He knew the role that every person in his life played:

One “disciple that Jesus loved”.

Three special apostles in his inner circle – Peter, James, John.

Twelve apostles.

Disciples. Followers. The crowds.

By understanding the relationship he had with every person he encountered, Jesus was able to deal with each one in wisdom and love. Everyone had their place and role. He knew who to ask to take care of his mother, who to bring on the mountain for the Transfiguration, who to ask to come and pray with him in Gethsemane. He even knew the proper time to take a break from everyone.

I think I could benefit by having “The Talk” with my technology.

The way I relate to technology tends to be more haphazard than defined. My iPhone often feels much more like an appendage than a phone. I would feel naked if I left the house without it. I get frustrated if I have to spend too long without access to the internet.

It’s not that my relationship to technology is necessarily unhealthy. It just needs a little definition.

The benefits of our technologies cannot be denied. They allow us to be more connected and productive. They make our lives more exciting and interesting. They extend our reach, our sight and our voice.

But there are times when I don’t understand the effects they are having on my life. It’s not until I realize that I’m searching my Twitter feed at the dinner table instead of talking with my family that I realize I may hold these technologies too closely.

Perhaps what I need is a little definition. Because with definition comes wisdom.

Maybe then I could understand when to check my phone and when to put it back in my pocket. Or when and where to search the web and when it’s time for real, actual human interaction.

Maybe what I need is to define the relationship. Even if it’s not going to be an easy conversation.

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