I often hear people say something to the extent of: "It's all about relationships"... "The tasks are not important... but the people are" and so on (if nothing comes to mind, take a look at these quotes)
This may be very well, but what about the tasks and expectations that NEED to be met? Aren't those important?
Well, yes. But the relationship comes first.
I've sometimes found this difficult to comprehend, especially as there seem to be two extremes in this world. The goal-directed, walk over anybody, achieving type of people. And the 'put the relationship first, but never go anywhere type of people' (y'know the type that sit in hippy love circles all day...) mmm. Neither of these stereo types are what I want to be, but I've also found that walking a middle ground is sometimes harder than one would think. In an ideal world, one wants to have dreams, desires, and goals, but not at the expense of core values and relationships.
Humans are pretty diverse creatures. We are capable of having broad relationships. Our relationship with our world, God, animals, and fellow human-beings are some that immediately come to mind.
My horse, Blaine, has taught me a huge amount about relationship. My family have too. My faith in God is also based upon relationship.
I have big dreams with Blaine. Gaining Parelli Level 3 is one of my current dreams... which can be broken down into patterns, Parelli games, 4 savvies, lots of tasks... and don't get me started! Parelli Natural Horse Training is all about having relationship with my horse, but those tasks don't sound like relationship now do they?
As a Christian, I believe it's right to have a sound theological understanding of what I believe. Bible reading, quiet time, worship time, listening to sermons, reading books that show the Bible's historical accuracy... and don't get me started on that either. Does this sound like relationship to you?
Family involves work. Chores, time maintaining relationships, self-control at really annoying people (haha, my siblings, annoying? neveerrr..)... this isn't your dreamy, movie-like relationships now is it?
The answer to all these questions is, yes. That is relationship. You see, relationship is not the stuff that's shown in movies. Relationship is a genuine sharing of life. And life... as you probably know... is not always a ride in the sun! All these things that maintain relationships are important, but they're not more important than the individuals with whom we share relationship.
When I spend time away from Blaine, my priorities change. Instead of stressing about tasks, I miss his company. His sweet breath, his cheeky face nuzzling me. His presence is what I need and value most.
Time away from God (yes, God is ever present, but there is something about setting aside time for him...) changes my priorities too. I miss his presence.
Somehow, when I long for relationship, the nitty gritty's fade away.
And THAT's what people mean when they say that the relationship comes first. Learning to dwell in people's company. To be. To live in Kinship with life.
Precious times with Blaine...