We were created to live in relationship.
We were not created to do life alone or in isolation.
We were created to live in proximity to others.
We were not created to do life at a distance or passively.
It can be easier to not put the work in and just settle for doing life in the ways we were not created to do them. Living a life where we’re in relationship with people takes work. It’s the exact opposite of passivity. It takes energy, intentionality, time, communication, listening skills, good questions, and a vulnerability that is hard to come by these days.
In the days we’re currently living in, how do we live like this well? How do we live a life in relationship when most events and gatherings are over Zoom, when many restaurants are closed, and when we have to take precautions when we see someone in person?
I think the key to living an intentional life in relationship during a pandemic is to be intentional yourself.
Be intentional with how you spend your time.
Be intentional with the people in your life currently.
Be intentional about what type of relationships you’re cultivating; are they life-giving or draining?
This might mean you add in just one more phone call to your day to listen to a friend who needs a friend. It could mean reaching out to the person you haven’t heard from in awhile to check in instead of waiting for them to text you. You might have to say “yes” to an invitation to do something spontaneous even when you’d rather binge Netflix alone with your popcorn the rest of the night. Of course, know your limits. If you are maxed out and just need a mental or emotional break, disconnect from your phone and turn on an episode of your favorite show. We all need that from time to time.
What I’m inviting us into is a lifestyle.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
This passage is referring to ties of any kind: union, friendship, marriage, religious communion. It is better to be in relationship than to go at it alone. If you’re going through a hard time, you have others around you to go through it with, and vice versa.
Don’t let up in this area simply because we cannot gather as we used to. If anything, be more intentional.