I’d love to know how many hours Randa and I have spent in conversation with each other over the past twenty-three years! Offhand, I’d guess that if we added up all the time spent in the car, on the road, at breakfast, in those easy mornings and soft nights out on the patio or porch, on our sporadic walks, during the sabbatical almost twenty years ago when we spent days hiking the forests of eastern Kentucky and all of those other times together, it’d be a few thousand hours.
The result has been a kind of closeness that surpasses acquaintance, companionship and camaraderie; it enters the realm of oneness in a way that I have seldom witnessed. Of course, we still discover previously unheard gems of experience or thought, still find some nuance, a reflection gleaming in a different way off a facet not previously brought to light.
But we know each other, genuinely, deeply, appreciatively.
We have cultivated this sort of knowing over the years, through the experiences, the talking and the seemingly infinite number of observations. Mostly, though, we have developed this relationship by deep commitment and continuous conversation.
It is the same sort of deliberateness that is required of those who want to have a significant relationship with God. The kind of closeness that sustains us through all things does not come through opportunistic happenstance or the chance of casual encounter; it comes through intentional, continual pursuit.
And is worth every minute of every effort.