What is on my mind today is this matter of partnering. I find that this is a deeply important paradigm for me to keep in front of my awareness in terms of both my relationship with my Lord and my relationship with my husband. It keeps me focused on who I am and who I am with.
This is what I mean: The reality of my day (on a Monday, at least) is that my husband goes off to work and I am home with my children, doing domestic living and learning. Then he comes home for dinner, some portion of the family goes out to activities, and finally we all call it a night. I can live this with the awareness that my husband and I are partners in making our home and raising our family, that we each have the well-being of all in mind and heart and purpose, though each is involved in different aspects of the effort. Or, I can live this with a sense that I am doing "my thing" while my husband is off doing something completely different, and that because we are doing different things we are each detached, even alienated from the rest. It is completely possible that the exact same set of circumstances could be lived either way. The difference is attitude, or perspective. Where is my heart?
The reality of my life is similar. I can live my life filled with activities, thoughts, plans, sufferings, joys, prayers. I can operate as if I have an agenda to fulfill, a standard to meet. I can regularly evaluate how I measure up against myself. I can even nod my head towards God as the supposed Author of my agenda and my standard, but really hold the whole management of my life in my own hands. Or, I can begin each day (as I do, in reality) with a Morning Offering, entrusting everything that happens that day and everything I do, as a prayer and offering to the Father in union with Jesus. In this way, I am acknowledging that nothing will touch me that is not also touching my Lord. He is with me closer than I can know, experiencing everything as I do. And with my prayer of allegiance, I ask for the grace to obey every direction the Lord might give throughout that day. It is a very quick prayer, but it sets the stage of my day to be open at every turn to the Lord present with me. In this way, God Almighty becomes a partner with me, and I with Him, throughout my life. This is incredible! But what else can it mean that my relationship with the Lord is personal?
For me, the key to love is "personal." As soon as I get abstract, theoretical, figure-headish, role playing, in any relationship, I know something has gone astray. The concept of partnership reminds me constantly that I have what is mine to give, but I am not alone in that. In the case with my husband, as with other people, I give in faith, trusting him to do the same, and being helped by his giving when I get lost and give up. With my Lord, it is all the Lord who gives in faith ("while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us") and enables me to respond to Him. It's in this way, I suppose, that those who partner with us mirror to us God's faithfulness.
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.(Philippians 1:3-6)