What's Up With Relationships?
Blood On The Tracks
Blood On The Tracks is arguably Bob Dylan’s most personal album. It dissects a disintegrating marriage, digging through all the diverse feelings and wreckage with a razor edged honesty that cannot be forgotten; its theme is summed up in a couple lines from You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go: “Situations have ended sad…Relationships have all been bad…”
Relationships are the stuff of life. Everyone desires stability and security in their connections with others. No one wants to be jammed up or get bounced from one difficult relationship to another; no one wakes up each morning praying for conflicts and stress.
Whether it is family or friends, we all seek genuine rapport with those around us, but in the field of relationships, dysfunction is alive and running free. Quite often the day to day dynamics are messy, so perhaps Mr. Dylan is right; there is always some blood on the tracks.
The pain of fractured relationships ripples out in ever-expanding circles that impact us all. We try to minimize the consequences while we look to entertainment icons for illusionary snapshots, but reality intrudes. We get wrapped up in fictional angst only to get our noses rubbed into the fact that it is commonplace to experience sad situations and bad relationships.
The fragmentation of modern life is problematic. Emotional trauma in homes, racial tension in neighborhoods, ethnic bigotry lurking in our hearts, anger in workplaces and frustration on roads are all symptoms that require bottom-line diagnosis. We can undergo psychoanalysis and develop prescriptions to fix relationships, but those are cut and paste or duct-tape solutions.
The root cause of the relational troubles that plagues us is that we think we know better than God does. In our pursuit of personal fulfillment we spurn God’s love and overturn his principles, but there will be no balance in our lives until we recognize that we have trashed eternal truth in favor of human-centric reasoning.
Relationships Radiate From God
It is self-evident that functioning relationships are important to God. He is the epicenter from which all relationships radiate. Creation cannot be liberated from the authority or involvement of the Creator. A mathematical precision can be seen in all aspects of existence; there is beauty that shines in the logic of creation.
Our hearts can be in tune with its rhythms, but in our self-absorption we grow deaf to its melody. We forfeit the integrity of God’s love when we go our own way, and in doing so perpetuate the downward spiral of societal disorder. Our rejection of God sets us adrift.
Deification Of Pride
The motivations of the human heart have not changed since time as we know it began. A warrior-poet of Israel put it well: “Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One.”
We do not wish to live in submission to anyone. We routinely take our stand against God because we think we know what is best. Even when relationships go awry, we cling to our ingrained arrogance.
Our deification of pride has us convinced that there is no need for us to live according to Scripture. We seem to believe that we can disregard those texts by referring to them as archaic relics from the past.
The human race suffers from a collective learning disability, which was identified in “Can You Handle The Truth?” as a Spiritual Attention Deficit Disorder (SADD).
We just never seem to get the point that God is love; we were created to be in fellowship with him; he wants us to be fully acquainted with him. He designed us to experience healthy relationships with each other; it is his intention for us to be at peace with him and live in harmony with the world around us.
The Bible is much more than a collection of old stories. It is God’s written revelation to us; a roadmap for our souls. It contains guidelines for all aspects of relationships on planet earth; it is ancient truth that is relevant to the twenty-first century.
Yet the original sin of pride cuts us loose from its moorings and finds perpetual manifestation in attitudes that are at cross-purposes with God’s redemptive plan.
What’s up with relationships is this: Regardless of our constant obsession to dethrone him, God’s longsuffering compassion for us has no boundaries.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
Acceptance of this relational truth gives us the perspective to work through and rise above the all-too prevalent sad situations and bad relationships.
- Wanted Man
Wanted Man a.k.a. Ken R. Abell, seeks to be a blessing to others. He's a rake, a rambler, and a teller of tales who understands that there is strength in a story well told and well lived. To learn more, inquire or schedule him, visit this web site.
- Can You Handle The Truth?
In a dramatic courtroom scene from the movie A Few Good Men, Jack Nicholson's character barks: "You can't handle the truth!" Those handful of words capture humanity's Spiritual Attention Deficit Disorder (SADD).
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