ALL IN – Episode 45

Okay. I am so excited about this idea: Over the next couple days I want to take a look at what we, as humans, naturally crave. We crave admiration, protection, and control. We crave the opportunity to create, to procreate, to contribute to something greater than us. We crave connection.

We are going to look at some of these needs this week. Today, though, on MONDAY MARRIAGE MATTERS, let’s talk about our need for connection.

“Our societies (before) were made to connect with each other. We needed each other in various ways, whether it was to make food or to protect ourselves or to know what was going on. You know, people didn’t have internet to tell them what was going on, you had to hear by word of mouth what was happening.

(Today), people could literally be alone for two, three weeks and be capable of surviving – grocery delivery, internet, all those things, keep us really secluded.

I know that God made us to need each other. I know He did. And so I think that as we start to crave more connection, we’re craving what God really intended for us … Life has gotten so easy and so removed, sometimes we forget that (connection) is what our soul wants so badly.”

We are hard wired to need connection, and when we don’t get that need met by other humans, we can easily – too easily – get it, to some degree, from other, lesser sources.

Social media is probably the number one way we try and meet that need for connections, right?

I have a friend I love very much. And when I was talking to a mutual friend, I confirmed that I was “in touch” with this beloved friend, regularly. But then, when I thought about it some more, I couldn’t think of the last time I’d had any contact directly with my friend – I had been loyally following her comings and goings on facebook. I was literally under the impression that we “talked” regularly, because I’d seen pictures of her and her family on facebook. That realization shook me.

How else am I accepting imitation-connection, in the stead of literal connection? Social media. MSN.com. Movie and television characters have become my friends. And even blogging has, at times, satiated my need to “discuss” a topic with someone else – to connect in that way.

And these things aren’t inherently bad. But we can be more aware of what our nature is telling us about our needs, and how we are replying to those urges and cravings. Is our quick and easy response to those cravings eliciting the greatest payback possible? Or, is there a better way to reply to these cravings – is this shallow version of connection meeting or needs just enough that we are not seeking out the “real thing”?

If so, my friends, I believe if I am willing to go through the discomfort of stepping back from some of these imitation-connections, the real thing is so so much better!

But these imitation-connections are easier! Right? It is easier to check in on my friend on facebook than to pick up a phone and take the time to talk to her in person.

“Humans are hard, and friendship takes work. And we have to be willing to jump in and be a little messy and be inconvenienced and have other people’s problems on our hearts…

I love the idea of essentialism and minimalism… But I think we have to maybe break free of that when it comes to people. Because if we’re only doing the essential, a lot of times, it’s only what works for us. And we have to remember that the point of us being here is not just to do what’s easy. It’s not just to do what works for us… It’s to connect and be there for the people who need us the most.”

What am I doing to connect to my friends?

SEND A QUICK TEXT TO CHECK IN vs CALLING MY FRIEND TO SEE HOW SHE IS DOING

LOOK AT PICTURES OF WHERE SHE IS GOING AND WHAT SHE IS DOING ON FACEBOOK vs GO SOMEWHERE AND DO SOMETHING WITH HER

It is kind of like the difference of satiating my hunger with a bowl of cereal vs a hearty stew. They both meet my need for food at the moment, but one is far longer lasting, and will do far more for the health of my body not just at the moment, but in the future.

And cereal isn’t bad. But it is not a long-term answer to that human craving for food, right?

Okay. Let’s talk about marriage. What am I doing to connect to Bryant in our marriage?

TEXT WHEN I DRIVE PAST HIS OFFICE vs STOP AND GIVE HIM A KISS WHEN I DRIVE PAST HIS OFFICE

WATCH A MOVIE ABOUT A FAMILY MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD, FOR DATE-NIGHT vs HAVING A DISCUSSION ABOUT HOW OUR OWN FAMILY CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD, FOR DATE -NIGHT

“For me, the best two words about being a real friend is ‘show up.’ You’ve got to be in someone’s life, you have to be there… In my life, when I know I’m right with God, I can do those. I somehow make time to show up.”

Let me “show up” for Bry today. Let me “show up” for my children. Let me sit down and pay attention when they are talking to me. Let me talk to them in the car, instead of listening to the radio. Let me find out where they need me most – helping them with the dishes, rehearsing on their musical instrument, admiring their finished projects, cuddling them on the coach, on-time to pick-up, etc. Let me “show up” for my most beloved connections today.