I have been thinking a lot about connections lately…or maybe it’s more like disconnections. One of the things that triggered this line of thought is the other day I went to run a couple of errands and unintentionally left my cell phone at home. Realizing my husband wouldn’t be able to reach me if he needed me, I thought, “No problem, I’ll just call him from my car phone.” Right? Wrong. I finally made the connection that my car phone system is completely useless without my cell phone, which connects it all together. It made me think of that little ditty, “The cell phone’s connected to the – car phone, the car phone’s connected to the – …”
(It’s sort of like when the electricity goes out, and you try to turn on the light, so you can find the flashlight…)
Anyway, this little incident reminded me of something that happened years ago. My husband had just gotten a new company car that came with the new-fangled key fob/remote control (I told you this was a long time ago!), and he gave me one to put on my key chain. This key fob also came with a new sense of security for me because it also had a panic button, which I thought might come in handy. At the time, I worked in downtown Riverside and often had evening meetings. Occasionally, I was the last one to leave, and had felt a little uneasy walking out to the parking lot alone. So, the next time that happened, I held the key fob in my hand with my “trigger finger” poised right above the red button as I confidently walked out to my car, primed to push it should anyone suddenly appear out of the darkness. (Picture Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story with his left arm raised and his right index finger poised on his laser button as he turned in circles ready to ward off any alien beings.)
When I got home, I told my husband how safe I had felt as I walked to my car, ready to push the panic button should I need it. My husband just looked at me, shook his head, and said, “The panic button was only connected to his car and was totally useless with mine.” Huh?! Boy, did I feel foolish – and even more vulnerable than usual, as I had possessed a false sense of security walking to my car. I had put my faith in an unconnected panic button; I definitely had not made that connection in my head.
So I was thinking…
How important real, as opposed to perceived, connections are. Many of us consider ourselves connected because we have tons of “friends” through social media, but how often do we really connect with others? When is the last time you sent a personal, handwritten note to someone? Called a relative or friend you haven’t talked to in a long time, just to say “hi”? Sat down with someone who wanted to talk, and really listened to what they had to say, without thinking about what you were going to say next? Sometimes, it seems like we are so busy being connected – Facebook, emails, texts, Twitter, etc. – that we don’t have (or I should say don’t make) the time to personally connect with each other.
This is even more important in our spiritual life. How many of us have a false sense of security because we carry a panic button (our faith) that we are ready to push should we encounter tough times, but all too often we are not connected to the Source? If we haven’t made time to connect with Him through reading His Word, prayer, meditation or even just being with others who share the faith, how can we expect to have a real connection with Him?
Several years ago, there was a woman in our church I didn’t know, but I had heard she had lost a young grandchild. After a few weeks went by, knowing that once the initial attention is gone is often when you need someone the most, I sent her a card and told her how sorry I was and that I prayed for peace and comfort for her as she continued to deal with her loss. In return, I received one of the sweetest letters I’ve ever gotten, because she was so moved by my card. Over the years, we have become dear friends, which evolved out of that personal connection. As usual, when I try to bless someone else, I was blessed far more in return.
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, wouldn’t now be a good time to make a real love connection with our sweethearts, family members, friends or even someone we don’t know? And don’t forget, that when we truly give our hearts to Jesus, we make an eternal love connection that can never be broken. It doesn’t get any sweeter than that. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:45 (NIV)
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father
I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other. John 15:12-17 (NIV)
©2015 Phyllis Knight firstname.lastname@example.org