How Is Your Connection?

Life is hard. There are times we feel alone, discouraged, unloved, ugly and the list
can go on forever until we fully rely on the One who made us and sustains us. 

Picture a box with four corners. This box helps us understand the connection cycle we go through in life. Dr. Henry Cloud spoke about this at this year's Global Leadership Summit. 

In the first corner we are all alone and rely on ourselves. We can isolate ourselves from the world around us and hope that we are enough on our own. We have no connection. The second corner has us looking for approval from someone or something else but our own self-doubt will not allow us to believe that we can find happiness here. It is that small voice that replays all the bad comments and fake truths we believe about ourselves and that causes us to retreat back to the first box. This is a bad connection because we are always left feeling bad about who we are.

Do you find you cannot believe what others say about you because off the years of self-doubt that has built up in your life?

The third corner is our quick hit of happiness from our own coping mechanisms. This corner will look different for most people. It could be found in that great cup of coffee, or that chocolate bar hidden in your desk drawer for those extra stressful moments. It could also be those hours of playing mindless games on our phones as we let the world drift away from our consciousness. The key is that happiness is only available for brief fleeting moments in this corner and that happiness time we experience shrinks down as our coping mechanisms begin to lose their effectiveness. Our connection is fake and will not be sustainable.

The last corner is true connection. It is a connection with our God that acknowledges that He is our source of happiness and strength.  This corner is scary because it requires true vulnerability and trust. This level of connection ads value to life and allows for a true connection and a way to move forward.

I shared this connection cycle with the camp because it is not just a great way to look at ourselves, but it is essential for everyone as they look at their friendships and the teams they need to work with on a daily basis. 

The one who comes from above is above everything. The one who is from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks like someone from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above everything.
— John 3:31 NIrV

I shared this connection cycle with the camp because it is not just a great way to look at ourselves, but it is essential for everyone as they look at their friendships and the teams they need to work with on a daily basis. As we continually seek to have our identity be found in Christ and not the world around us we struggle with the tensions of living in the culture we do and trying to live out our faith everyday.  We get caught up in what the culture around us wants to be and our own shortcomings replay in our minds and it keeps us doubting how God could love us. We all have days we want to forget and we all have days where we feel so small and insignificant that we get lost in who we are in the eyes of Christ.

I shared the story of Job at camp and how we went so far as to say that he wished the day of his birth would be erased from the calendar. 

After a while, Job opened his mouth to speak. He cursed the day he had been born. He said,

“May the day I was born be wiped out.
May the night be wiped away when people said, ‘A boy is born!’
May that day turn into darkness.
May God in heaven not care about it.
May no light shine on it...

I don’t have any peace and quiet.
I can’t find any rest. All I have is trouble.
— Job 3:1-4;

I think we all can relate to getting bogged down on life when things begin to swirl out of control. We thrive on having control of our lives but we forget that when we rely on our true connection with Christ his plan for our life is where we need to place our trust. God responds to Job and asks him to reflect on all the ways that He is in control. I asked the students to think about how they can all ow God to take control of their life in greater ways as they seek to live a life rooted in Christ. 

Let the peace that Christ gives rule in your hearts. As parts of one body, you were appointed to live in peace. And be thankful. Let the message about Christ live among you like a rich treasure. Teach and correct one another wisely. Teach one another by singing psalms and hymns and songs from the Spirit. Sing to God with thanks in your hearts. Do everything you say or do in the name of the Lord Jesus. Always give thanks to God the Father through Christ.
— Colossians3:15-17 NIrV

Questions to think about:

  • What challenges are you facing now that are transforming your character to be more like Christ's?
  • Where do you see God's plan working in your current circumstances?
  • What corner of the box (found above) are you currently spending the majority of your time?
  • How do you respond to the idea that God wants a relationship with you?
  • This week take time to thank God for the opportunities you have to become more
  • Take time to read Romans 5 this week.