ERROR: CONNECTION LOST.
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What is it about the holidays that makes us want to connect with people? Are we feeling nostalgic in the face of all the Christmas specials that make even a fictional imperfect family seem perfect? Or do we long for the neighborhood where you just pop over for a visit and find a full blown holiday festival in the living room?
What is it about the holidays that makes us want to disconnect with people? To step away, back way. Run away? To get away from the cost of social obligations. The pain of smiling from the sidelines. The alone in the middle of a crowd? The stress, the mess and the fuss.
When my husband and I talk about the holidays, any holiday, and our traditions we find some stark differences and some comforting familiar ground. To quote Christian comedian Mike Warnke, "It's a strange place this place."
It is strange. This time of year. And our need to connect. And it goes back so far. Further back than even the birth of Christ. Everyone wants to be a part of something bigger than them. Even Herod. The wise men. Some for good, some for ill. Connections with people are the same way.
We need to connect in healthy ways. In ways that fill us with the fruits of the spirit. Ways that are counter to most of our culture. But sometimes we can't make it happen. Sometimes it isn't God's will to happen.
Have you ever lost your internet connection, and even though you have done everything on your end right it is still gone? It is out of your hands. Clicking your mouse repeatedly won't work. Shouting won't work. Plugging and unplugging hasn't helped. The troubleshooter is out of ideas.
That is when you know the problem isn't with you.
Connecting with people, making connections, is no different!
Sometimes, despite our best and most prayerful efforts nothing works the way WE WANT IT TO.
Rest assured, it ALWAYS works the way God wants it to!
So sometimes the best way to find good connections is to recognize the bad ones. Like being able to tell counterfeit money by being completely familiar with the real currency - we can learn to detect wrong, faulty or false connections. And we can rewire them, leave them with our Holy Provider or we can disconnect.
We can miss some incredible connections with people when we are spending our time trying to connect where God doesn't intend us to. It's hard. So hard. I WANT to reach out again, break my own boundaries. To see if they have changed. Stay my hand Lord. Steady my soul.
Connections are made to be tested. To be rewired. Re-written. Written over. Corrected, maintained or abandoned. They are fragile and need to be handled with prayer.
Connections are so important, and in our overly-connected world we sometimes miss what they are meant to be. God wants us to be connected as a community. People loving on each other, praying for each other and going out and doing the same for others. We need deep connections, ones that nurture roots. Ones that help us grow. And ones that prune us, too.
How do you test your connections? Do you test them? I would love to discuss in the comments with you!
Linking up today as one of the #VoiceBloggers at Jo Ann Fore's page. Come by and join in. Share in the comments, add a blog post to the link up or join our book group. Everyone is welcome!