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COLUMN: Fostering a relationship with God is amazing

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By Jon Rohr

Have you ever thought about how amazing our lives are these days?  I know most of us think our lives are fairly ordinary, but are they really?  Let’s just think about our daily grind for a minute.
Every day we hop in our cars and travel in minutes distances that took our great-grandfather hours or days to cover.  Rather than slaving over a hot stove for hours, we grab something out of the frig, pop it in the microwave and in 2 minutes we have a hot meal or snack.  We can turn on the radio or TV and be entertained 24 hours a day.  I won’t even bother to mention cell phones and computers and all the other things like indoor plumbing that make our lives so much easier.
We live in an amazing world and in amazing times.  Even better, we have an amazing God who cares about us and loves us.  Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10b NIV)  God’s plan for us includes more than our technological marvels, it includes a full and fulfilling life.  In another place God says, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”(Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
So let’s look at these things in a different way.  God has prospered us in amazing ways, how are we using those blessings?  Since we have the ability to travel so easily, do we use it to stay close to family and friends?  When we can fix our meals in minutes instead of hours, do we invest that time with our kids, or just turn on the tube?  Those cell phones and computers, do we use them to connect us in new ways, or do we use them to keep our distance?
A while back I heard that we live in a high tech world, but in the process we have become low touch.  We do our banking online or at the ATM or drive through and rarely get to know our teller.  We touch base with texts and e-mails, but we rarely really talk.  We share everything online, but have no real friends.  That is not the full life Jesus was taking about.
What our hearts need is connection; connection to one another and to God.  That is what a full and amazing life really looks like.  God’s plans to prosper us may include physical blessings, but his plans are much bigger than that.  He wants us to invest our lives in him, to invest our lives in each other.
Technology can help, but it is the human touch that matters.  The key to an amazing life is not how fast you get there or how well you are entertained.  The key is in fostering those important relationships with God, with family, with friends.  When those relationships are rich and deep, then the ordinary can become extraordinary and you will see what it is to live a really amazing life.