I think about rightly relating often. Regularly. Probably every day. Usually at least a few times a day.
And when I think about right relating… When I think about “rightness” in general, it has this incredible power to draw me in. At first look, right relating makes sense. Its perfectly logical. Our brains and bodies were designed to rightly relate, and every ounce of wrong relating causes a protest. The earth protests, and all of creations groans and moans and aches to be in right order. Every ounce of discomfort on the planet is a result of wrong relating. When I consider briefly the implications of how many parts of my personal life and even greater, how many parts of society would become beautiful and harmonious with right relating, I am immediately intrigued. If every person on the planet rightly related to the earth by caring for it, our food would be perfectly nutritious and our bodies would be well. If we were kind to our bodies by feeding them only good things all the time, by sleeping and exercising, we would have the perfect wellness and energy we needed to bless the world. If every single relationship in every single city and town was in right motion, we would have no stress, no anxiety, no crime, no abuse. If all of us perfectly related to God with humility and continual submission, we would experience inexplicable joy and unending peace.
Right relating makes perfect sense.
I realized this morning that when I set my aim at right relating, its appeal shimmers brightly for a second. Then slowly but always very surely my hunger for rightness slips away until there is not much in me left to desire it. After I decide that right relating makes perfect sense and that I should want it with all my being, it quickly seems to turn cold and too far out of my reach, too far from possibility.
After all, the impossible is rarely inviting. It taunts more than it beckons.
And if I stop there, the rest of my day has a dismal theme. The tension of the beautiful unobtainable lingers in the corners of my mind, and the unbearable weight of disappointment overrides every other thought and sentiment. I want to quit life before it gets going any further.
…but if I consider the Man Jesus, everything changes.
Remember, self! Remember that Man Jesus!
Jesus Christ is a real, live Man who put His bare feet on dirt and grass like I do. He ate figs and drank wine. He slept. He walked. He fixed things and built things. He was a perfect Son, a perfect Friend, a perfect Teacher. He perfectly rightly related all the time. To God, to His mom, to His followers, to the earth. Jesus takes the impossibility of rightly relating as a human being, wads it up and chucks it into outer space. He has single-handedly done what no one else could ever do. He stepped right over the unobtainable perfection, took off running, and hasn’t stopped since.
Jesus, that God Man… now, He is stunning. He is always doing exactly the right thing all the time. His motivation is always untainted. He always knows who He is. He always knows the voice of God. He is the very description of Love. He is always choosing us over Himself. He is quite simply, the Best.
When I remember Jesus, I can’t help but adore the guy. He is irresistibly incredible. When I really force myself to consider Him and all His ways, I am drawn in and this time I stay stuck there. This time right relating is warm, it calls to me, it dances with promise and sings with hope. This time right relating is a so close. It has a face, it has a name. It is a reality.
When I remember Jesus, I remember that what was once out of my reach is now there for the taking every single morning I crawl out of bed. Rightly relating to my God is actually possible, and so is rightly relating to this body I wake up in, and the husband I wake up next to. It is possible to rightly relate to my housemates eating breakfast in the kitchen, to the food in my kitchen, to my neighbors mowing their grass and to the cashier at Home Depot.
Today I am so thankful that Jesus came to us as a human. I am glad that He wrapped Right Relating in flesh and bones and made an unobtainable theory something I can touch and know. I am so thankful that Jesus came and DID it. He lived a perfectly right relating life. I am so thankful Jesus said to me and to you, “Here is My perfect right relating. Its all yours now! Try it out… I’ve got you covered.”
He makes me want to live. And I mean, really LIVE. If Perfection Himself has my back, I think I can take on life.
…Maybe even take a job in a high security juvenile prison in the worst part of Detroit… maybe even get a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice… maybe even dreaming about establishing Right Relating and True Justice to the prison systems of America… maybe all kinds of things are possible now…
I mean, the guy who kicked the death of all humanity in the face handed me His very own right relating. This makes me want to LIVE.