If you watch the TV sitcom “The Big Bang Theory,” you know about Sheldon and his relationship agreements. Sheldon is the compulsive, controlling but brilliant theoretical physicist at the center of the show and among the recurring themes are the “roommate agreement” with his apartment-mate Leonard and the “relationship agreement” with his girlfriend Amy.
Sheldon’s need to control every detail of his life, including his relationships, is great comic fodder, of course, in large part because everyone but Sheldon knows that relationships just don’t work that way. Romance doesn’t work because we have a contract that details every aspect of how we are to relate to one another but because the two people trust and care for each other. Even a relationship with a roommate, while having some contractual elements (rent, utilities, who gets which bedroom, etc.) works because the two people have a basic trust and willingness to get along with each other. These are relationships, not contracts!
In Sunday’s Gospel lesson (click here to read it), we are reminded that our relationship with Jesus is based not on having every detail clearly laid out, but in our trust in Him. Jesus’ teaching on being the “bread of life” and that they must “eat my flesh and drink my blood” in the earlier part of John 6 has been difficult for some of His followers to understand and so they left.
When the disciples were asked by Jesus if they wanted to leave also, Peter spoke for them all saying, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” Are you looking to have a clear, nailed down understanding of God, or a relationship with a living Lord? Are you prepared to follow what Jesus teaches only when it all makes perfect sense to you, or because Jesus said to do it?
I pray that we follow Jesus not because we have some to an intellectually satisfying understanding but because we trust a living Lord. No “relationship agreements” here!
This column appeared in the August 26, 2018 edition of St. John’s eNews. Click here for the full issue.
If you are reading this at a different time, you may click here for the current eNews.