A Personal Handshake with God

By contributing author: Amy Schulze Lahmon

Lately I’ve been thinking about discipleship.  At its most basic level, a disciple is someone that follows Christ.  The question is, once we have chosen to follow Him, how do we best follow Him?   I think we need both a strong personal relationship with the Lord and a commitment to doing the work the He has called us to do.  All disciples fall somewhere on the spectrum, but many may find themselves in one of two camps.

In the first camp, the disciple has a fantastic personal relationship with the Lord, spending lots of time praying, conversing with God over even the nuances of their day, and likely giving Him their trust without much thought; But disciples in this camp may struggle to be very open about and share their faith publicly, or proactively act as Christ’s voice, hands, etc. to the world.  This reminds me of the phrase, “Our faith should be personal, but not private.”  Just like we teach our children about the Lord, we show the rest of the world God’s infinite love and mercy when we share Him with others and by turning our voice, hands, etc. over to Christ to help the less fortunate, oppressed, and marginalized.  Having a close, personal relationship with the Lord is so important, but we cannot keep it all to ourselves.  He commands us to love each other as He has loved us.  Fortunately, there are so many good charities and church committees looking for another set of hands.

In the second camp, disciples are so focused on doing His work (being His hands, lending their voice, sharing His message, etc.) that they fail to carve out a proportionate amount of time building a strong, personal relationship with Him.  So often, I know I get wrapped up in planning the next bible study session, evaluating future parish book club options, and even talking about Him to others, that I fail to just spend time with Him myself!  That sounds so ridiculous, but it’s true.  I’m so quick to listen to a faith-building radio program on my daily commute than to just leave the radio off and talk to Him!  A good gut check for me was asking myself how God would rate our relationship right now.  Would He say I don’t visit enough, or that I spend too much of my visits asking Him for things?  Worse yet, would He say I take Him for granted?  Yikes.  How do we get so wrapped up in trying to do the right things that we fail to spend time with the one we’re doing them for?

The best discipleship, I’m sure, has both the close personal relationship and His works of love, but if you find yourself in the latter camp with me, I have some good news; I have an idea….

I was watching my teenager at her club volleyball tournament recently and noticed that the girls closest to each other on the team had a personal handshake.  You know what I’m talking about, right?  We used to call it a ‘secret handshake’ but they are often done in public by students, athletes, etc., so they’re not so “secret” anymore.  However, they are personal, as each unique couple has their own personal handshake.  When I saw my daughter’s teammates go around the court doing their unique handshakes (which apparently can sometimes include no use of the hands at all, and weird dance moves instead now), it made me recall my own personal handshakes.  I have one with my husband (the double tap), and I have one with my daughter (front high five, back high five – I know, I know – mine aren’t very elaborate), but that made me think how those make me feel; When I do my personal handshake with either of them, it feels special, and like our relationship is close and important to us.  Personal handshakes indicate a bond – something carved out just for the two of you.  You create a personal handshake with someone who means a lot to you, and you like having a unique one that will remind them how important they are to you.  So I ask, why can’t you have a personal handshake with God?  Something just between the two of you.  It can be something as simple as a wink, or something you do fairly often like waving at someone.  Make it a part of a personal handshake with the Lord and I bet it’ll make you smile every time you do it.  Sometimes you may notice people doing whatever you chose, a wink let’s say, and you will know they are unwittingly allowing God to do your personal handshake back to you.

A personal handshake with the Lord is just one simple approach to developing a stronger bond with Him.  Whatever you need to work on, know that He is so pleased that you want to become a better version of yourself for Him.

Request a FREE Run Dedication here

Follow the Run Dedications on:  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  LinkedIn

No comments:

Post a Comment