Sunday, April 12, 2020

relationDips: the eternal pantry

Food is purchased from the supermarket, brought home and stored in the fridge and the pantry. At the appropriate time that food is consumed, and will need to be replaced, if it's a staple or something you like, or substituted if it is not.

A pantry is a food cupboard, but we have other types of cupboards and storage spaces around our homes where we put things until we want to use them. We collect these things through various means, mostly our own purchases, supplemented by the presents of others. The purpose of these things is to add value to our lives, either aesthetically or practically. Essentially, because quality of life is primarily and directly connected to the quality of our relationships, these things are servants, slaves to a greater cause.

There are of course other investments we make into our relationships like time, and the greatest of all gifts; ourselves.
Just as food supplies what our bodies need, there are certain types of essential food for relationships. Love, in all its many splendid forms, care, consideration, courtesy, passion and sacrifice, is an obvious one. Love is infinite because it comes from an inexhaustible source. It's very much like the endless pack of Tim Tams where by some magical power you can keep on going to the pantry and getting more love. 

It's the same deal with patience and kindness. It even works with gratitude and passion. These priceless commodities emanate from the source of all good things: God. God is our eternal pantry, the tireless supplier of those precious things we need to keep our relationships healthy. The bottomless well of relational nutrients.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many of us to empty supermarkets shelves for the first time in our lives. Our pantries are perhaps also less well stocked. These shortages have allowed the weeds of fear and anxiety to prosper as our life sustaining ability to interact with others has been curtailed and much of the fun taken out of our social lives. Whether this hurts or helps our relationships depends on us.

Many are finding pathways through the darkness because of the eternal light which illuminates the road ahead. Faith, hope and love are also flourishing as we hold on to them, and for some of us, as we hold on to their ultimate source. God promises to supply all of our needs. He never breaks his promises, which is another thing we should learn and apply to our relationships. To have happy and healthy relationships we need more of what God has to offer, and it's as easy as entering the pantry or opening a cupboard and taking it off the shelf.

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