The title gives it away – it’s all about relationships. Sojourning 2015 has enabled us to cross many international borders. Crossing borders has highlighted to us that these are based on prerequisites of permission, but underlined by a relationship between our own nation and that of the one(s) we pass through.
So, using permissions as a backdrop, let’s talk about relationships in the context of sojourning. Sojourning 2015 has highlighted certain relationships that we come across on an almost ongoing basis. In no particular order, these relationships stand out the most:
With each other – husband and wife
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? – Ecclesiastes 4:9-11
Two really are better than one, but a whole that would not be complete without its parts. It just would not be the same. One of us has travelled alone in the past, and it cannot be compared. Permissions play an important role here in watching each other’s backs, leaning on each other in times of trial, ‘carrying’ the other when one is down (this happens often) and relying on that sense of trusting each other when a situation just doesn’t feel right. It’s a privilege, a joy, a wonder…
With locals we meet
Moshe, a local from Tel Aviv, Israel, opened up his home to accommodate us.
Often based on permissions of exchange, usually money, this permission can be broken the more we give up our permission not to share. This sharing of our stories, beliefs and even a cup of coffee brings about relationships that are so sweet, one is sad to say goodbye. Often the hardest of relationships to build, this one certainly brings some of the greatest joy. The net result is humility in essence simply because our own weaknesses are exposed and judgements are dissolved.
With fellow travellers
Having a braai with fellow traveller Khalied, from Belgium, at Al Nawatef Campsite in Dana Biosphere, Jordan
The permission to share is already there – just sharing brings about encouragement and inspiration, because the more one shares the more one is encouraged and inspired in return. This makes us feel like we are not alone in our sojourney and even if it’s for a brief time, these people have played a pivotal role in a certain aspect and time that fuels us to continue. These people always have a place we remember them by, having gone through a similar permission process to get there too.
With our God
And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. – Ecclesiastes 4:12
The permission is granted, it is up to us to respond. God is everywhere, anywhere and always available. He is the Creator, Sustainer, Giver and Taker of relationships, so we don’t take them for granted. He is that strand that keeps the most important relationship in tact, and is always the One that gives Himself permission to be relational, consistently.
Lessons in permission? No, it’s lessons in relationships that we learn and hopefully grow through. Not taking relationships for granted whether they exist or not, the relationships and their permissions are key to understanding where we each are at – emotionally, cognitively and Spiritually.