Western culture has things a little backwards right now. We think that if we had every comfort available to us, we’d be happy. We equate comfort with happiness. And now we’re so comfortable we’re miserable. There’s no struggle in our lives. No sense of adventure. We get in a car, we get in an elevator, it all comes easy. What I’ve found is that I’m never more alive than when I’m pushing and I’m in pain, and I’m struggling for high achievement, and in that struggle I think there’s a magic.” – Dean Karnazes

The words ‘closeness’ and ‘intimacy’ are often used interchangeably, but they are quite different. Closeness is about comfort. It’s low-risk, low anxiety, predictable, familiar. Closeness is necessary in all relationships, however, closeness without intimacy is simply a relationship that has an unspoken contract to just die together. Intimacy is about risk-taking, newness, unpredictability, spontaneity, and high anxiety. Intimacy means you have a relationship with your partner; closeness means you have a relationship with your thoughts of your partner. All intimacy and no closeness is impossible to sustain, but there needs to be a mix of the two.

Tom Murray, Ph.D., marriage and family therapist

“It is a world of magic and mystery, of deep darkness and flickering starlight. It is a world where terrible things happen and wonderful things too. It is a world where goodness is pitted against evil, love against hate, order against chaos, in a great struggle where often it is hard to be sure who belongs to which side because appearances are endlessly deceptive. Yet for all its confusion and wildness, it is a world where the battle goes ultimately to the good, who live happily ever after, and where in the long run everybody, good and evil alike, becomes known by his true name….That is the fairy tale of the Gospel with, of course, one crucial difference from all other fairy tales, which is that the claim made for it is that it is true, that it not only happened once upon a time but has kept on happening ever since and is happening still.” – Frederick Buechner, Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale

We are all connected to something larger then ourselves.  This truth grounds us and makes sense of our journey.

If you are renewed by grace, and were to meet your old self, I am sure you would be very anxious to get out of his company

None are more unjust in their judgments of others than those who have a high opinion of themselves

These are two quotes by Charles Spurgeon made about 100 years ago.  What is interesting that these truths are relevant today.

  • Grace should renew and transform us.  Relationship is where life is found.  A relationship with Christ, who gives us grace, should produce change, transformation and create a new life.  It is still possible today.
  • Healthy people have empathy for others. People who have balanced lives are able to see the needs of others and respond with empathy.  Unhealthy people have a hard time seeing beyond themselves and their own needs.