How often do we hear of marriages of conveniences – not just in story books or in movies and tele-dramas but also in real life? This last week or so, I had more than my fair share of it… it seemed to be the ‘theme’ everywhere I turned. Perhaps I’m exaggerating it a bit – but hey… it has caught my attention. Some do it for the sake of enhanced business ventures; some others to secure an estate, some to get a citizenship in assumed “greener pastures” and yet some others do it for financial stability… the reasons are many but sadly this “sham” does happen…
Just imagine such marriages – love-less, business-like structures… living under the same roof but with no affection or bonds. Each other will be taken for granted. The relationship is all about selfish gain – what we can get out of it.
Yet does it take only a union of convenience only to be strangers under the same roof? How often do people interact with the others they live with – whether it be a family or with flat mates or even in a hostel> What about the place we spend a good chunk of our week – whether it be your work place or school? How often do we truly reach out to one another and care for one another? Not simply on a superficial level but with a deep affection? A “hi and bye” won’t cut it – instead it calls for sincere & honest communication as well as intentional observation.
Often what one says is not necessarily what one means! What is being said and what isn’t is something we need to be aware of and tuned into. The major component of communication is not words but instead body language. Often we say things out of defense or to preserve our pride or because we aren’t ready to make a commitment with our words. This isn’t a mark of a believer as we need to be transparent (and wise) but it is indeed a mark of the fleshly nature. Actions speak louder than words – what is your witness today?
Anyway, that aside, we even take this notion of “relationships of convenience” to our spiritual life too. We as believers know that we are the temple of God; we know that the Holy Spirit lives in us…
- Yet how often do we turn to communicate with Him?
- How often are we allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us?
- How often do we simply take it for granted that God is dwelling in us and thus we are “Christians”?
- How often do we turn to God for selfish gain, only when we need Him?
- How often do consider our communication with Him as merely us speaking to Him, babbling on with long prayers and “demanding” claiming it is faith?
The parable of the ten virgins is a pressing alert for us today – for those of us who have a marriage of convenience with God! All of these ten virgins wanted to meet the bridegroom, they all had their lamps and the lamps were lit. However they fell asleep while waiting for the bridegroom to arrive. The wise virgins were prepared with extra oil to light their lamps when the groom finally arrived and they made it to the banquet while the foolish ones were locked out.
These virgins symbolise those who are “set apart” for God, the bridegroom represents Jesus, the lamp is the Word of God and the oil symbolises the Holy Spirit. We often take it for granted that we have God’s Word with us but fail to keep turning to the Holy Spirit to give us revelation and inspiration… Having God with us is pointless if we aren’t turning to Him with tuned ears to hear His voice, and to allow the Holy Spirit to inspire. We fall asleep in the spiritual realm, not prepared and thus unable to make it to heaven, we get locked out.
Where do you stand today? Are you equipped and ready or are you falling asleep? Are you taking God for granted seeking Him only when you want to gain or are you hearing Him out and being led by Him?