By Benjamin Budde - Guest columnist

Do you find it hard to connect with others?

It can be tough connecting with people, even the people living under our roof, like our spouse, kids, or parents. You’re all there in the same room, but your mind may be somewhere else. Many of us fall into the trap of trying to connect with the latest craze instead of our loved ones. But that kind of connection only lasts momentarily, and yet we continue to chase things and not our family.

If we want to connect with others and they want to connect with us, what’s the problem? The problem tends to be that we have to invest time. Most people lead such busy lives that it’s hard to really talk and connect within our relationships. I believe God created us with loving hearts and thoughtful minds to have a divine relationship with Him. This connection with God fulfills are deepest needs. Proverbs 20:27 says, “The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, Searching all the inner depths of his heart.” Our hearts and minds are so full of creativity and wanting to do something that only a relationship with God will satisfy! 1 Corinthians 2:10 says, “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.”

What do you have to do to have a connection with someone? You make an effort to spend time together. That’s why I believe God said to keep the Sabbath day holy. You spend time with others every day, but you need to set aside a special time once a week to spend with God. During this time you need to pray, read the bible, and go to church. God is showing us that time is sacred and is important. God says that for six days you work and spend your time as you want, but the seventh day is for Him (Exodus 20:8-11). Why does God say, do no work on the seventh day? Because He wants you to be in the moment with Him, to really listen and keep that time purely focused on your relationship with Him. Luke 13:10-17 says, Jesus healed a lady who was sick for 18 years on the Sabbath day, and yet many people were mad at him because no one is supposed to work on the Sabbath. Jesus said to them, “Don’t you still lead your cattle to drink water on the Sabbath?” Obviously the answer is yes. They do not let their animals suffer from dehydration, just as Jesus did not let the woman suffer from sickness.

It’s said that to have a healthy marriage you should go out on a date together once a week, and during that date give your spouse your undivided attention so that you can both connect. I think of it like this, if I’m taking my wife out on a date, I don’t sit around and do nothing all day until it’s date time. But once our date starts, I focus on her; whatever time and on whatever day doesn’t matter, what matters is I make an effort to connect with her. God is a God of relationship and He shows us how to connect with Him. God cares about us so much He even shows us how to have a healthy relationship with Him through Jesus Christ and with others.

God loves us and wants to connect with us more than we could ever know, to care for us, to teach us faith, hope, and love, and to give us rest for our restless soul.

He’s closer than a phone call away. Stop, pray, and connect with God today!

By Benjamin Budde

Guest columnist

The writer is a husband, father, preacher, writer, artist, musician and songwriter. Ben and his wife, Missy, reside with their three sons in St. Marys.

The writer is a husband, father, preacher, writer, artist, musician and songwriter. Ben and his wife, Missy, reside with their three sons in St. Marys.