There are two steps in entering into transforming relationships. The first is to decide whether to form the relationship. The second step is to decide how to make the relationship meaningful. I think the best relationships are the unplanned ones (at least unplanned by us.) So, to illustrate my point, sometimes I am asked, “Pastor, when is the right time for new parents to try to have a baby?” You see, in our case, we did no such detailed planning. One day there were not two treasured children, and the next day there were. Sort of like that. If there was planning involved, I was unaware of it (the planning part that is.) So, when is the best time to start a relationship with a child in your marriage? Be surprised! If you both want to have a child for the right reasons, then let a little serendipity in your life. Today is the right day for your new relationship.
But how do we make our new, surprise relationships work? Let me illustrate with the “family dog.” If I had a say in the decision to get out family dog, I don’t remember it. But, I didn’t fight the idea because, famous last words, “don’t worry, we will take care of him.” When our dog came into my life I looked up the breeding history of our dog and I found it was an “indoor guard dog” for royalty in India. Which meant he growled at people in our house and ate my pizza. My mistake, I think, was that I missed the point of the family dog. The children didn’t want a pet to be a guard, they wanted someone to treasure. If I had looked at the relationship with the family dog in the context of forming family relationships maybe it would have been a more positive experience. One writer recalls how when they had the “family discussion” about dogs, he insisted that any time he took the dog for a walk one of his children or his wife had to go on the walk with him. That led to 30 minutes a day of time spent with someone he loved that created some lifetime memories. He transformed the issue of the relationship with the dog into a way to form a relationship with his family, dog included.
What new relationships do you desire in your life? If you wait for the perfect moment or the perfect person, you will wait a long, long time. Let life surprise you. How can you make your new relationship a transforming one? No relationship is perfect, but it can be made more perfect if you create disciplines that will allow for treasured moments that you value. In the end our discipline should be to create space and time so that the surprising relationships life brings us can be transformed. There is someone who desires a relationship with you, one that can change your life. Enter into this transforming relationship that will bless you with treasured moments. Be surprised!