Saturday, September 26, 2015

Reminders of Relationship

We named our second son, Enoch Shant Arunav Begg.

Enoch was taken from Genesis 5:24
"Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him."
We want our son to walk with God. It also states that Jared was the father of Enoch, so that’s a nice bonus.

Giving him two middle names allows us to pack more meaning into his name.  His second middle name, Arunav, is the name he had at the orphanage.  We didn’t keep that out of obligation, but so that he would never forget where he came from. We wanted to honor the people who loved him and took care of him for his first three years of life.

Enoch and Shant
His first middle name, Shant, is to honor our friend Shant, who walks with God. We wanted to celebrate our friendship with Shant and also teach our son about a godly man in our life. If our son turns out anything like Shant, that would be great.
An additional, or fringe, benefit of this in the back of my mind was that we would be tying ourselves to Shant and his wife in some way. Surely, Shant would want to meet the child who was named after him. Surely, we would want to make sure Enoch maintains some knowledge of his namesake. If at all possible, we’d make time to visit with Shant and his wife whenever we were in their area, and hopefully if they were near us they would have a bit more incentive to stop by.

Now, after over two years that secondary benefit is coming into play in a way I hadn’t anticipated.

Sure, we’ve seen, and spoken with, Shant and Jen more since we brought Enoch home (we’ve also moved back to the west coast, which helps). But also, Enoch is a constant reminder of my friendship with Shant. Especially when he does something defiant and I use the classic parental scolding technique of addressing him with his middle name.  
So it goes something like this:
“Enoch Shant, listen to your Mama”
“Enoch Shant, put that down”
“Enoch Shant Arunav, don’t hit your brother!”
“Enoch Shant, eat your dinner.”
Then I think to myself,
“hmmm… I haven’t talked to Shant lately. I should give him a call”

Frequently saying my friend’s name keeps him at the forefront of my mind. It makes me miss him. It makes me wonder what he’s up to. It makes me reach out to him (even if it’s just through Facebook).

Reminders of Relationship

As I’ve realized this about myself I’ve thought about applying this phenomenon to maintaining my relationship with God. 
Does it work this way?
Or, to be more vulnerable, why doesn’t it work this way?

I have reminders placed around me that I encounter in my daily life, but for the most part they've been drowned out by busyness and distractions.  
I have a ring on my finger from my Master’s program with a quote from John 15 on it.
My bible is sitting around the house in plain sight.
We have a family picture on the wall with the caption “God is making this family”.
Both of my sons have names inspired by biblical figures

And yet, I struggle to remember to keep in contact with my creator.
I get caught up in my selfishness and worries.  I go days without prayer, and often my prayer is shallow or obligatory.
The act of talking to God is incredibly the act of talking to Shant, and yet, I’ve found that it’s much harder for me to actually do it.

Why don’t the reminders of relationship, which I have in place, succeed in drawing my wandering heart back to God?
And, more importantly, how could they?

I know it won’t work exactly the same as it does with my relationship with my friend, Shant.
Saying “Jesus Christ” aloud when I’m frustrated with my son doesn’t seem to be the right way to bring me back to him.
But I want it to work that way. I want it to be that simple.

So I leave it an open question…
What are the Reminders of Relationship that help you see through the distractions of your daily life?
What causes you to think:

“hmmmm….I haven’t talked to Jesus lately, I should talk to him”

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