Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
Relationship experts suggest that people who may have difficulty sustaining the kind of in-depth relationship they may desire deep-down tend to only attach to others in relationships. They have difficulty bonding.
One expert I heard likened the limited-relationship ability of the former to Formica–the thin covering of paper or textile mixed with resin and glued to counter tops that a simple penknife or even a butter knife can easily damage if enough pressure is applied. To this analogy I would add that a more sustaining, bonded if you will, relationship is like a solid counter of granite (“basement rock,” as it is called). It is much harder to damage due to its strength (second only to diamond, and formed in intense heat) and composition, and it is easier to repair without compromising the integrity of its elements.
You might say that in a “thin,” Formica relationship, while there is some surface adherence capability, it is easily broken, while a truly bonded relationship, fastened by more durable elements* and involving trust and loyalty despite the inevitable nicks and scratches of life, is not so easily broken. For an excellent discussion of this kind of difference in relationships, I suggest listening to a radio interview by two relationship experts, linked here.
ARE YOU ATTACHED OR BONDED TO HIM?
This bit of research answered a question I have always had about those who study the Word of God searching for answers but who never seem to come to the truth embedded there. I know several people who know book, chapter, and verse of a given scripture as well as any theologian, yet still hold out for some other Being to guide them into greater spiritual truth. They no doubt have at least a “surface sense” of the scarlet thread of redemption that binds together the biblical stories, poetry, history, and teachings in the anthology, yet seem to not (yet) have bonded with the Redemptor.
In my context, here, I wonder if while they have attached to God’s words, in print and in the Flesh (Jesus), they still regard God in His manifestation as Jesus as merely another prophet, holy man, and/or teacher. They have not yet bonded to Him personally, that is to say, they have as yet to enter into a real relationship with the Being they seek, the One Christians know as the answer to the existential quest that is integral to the story of mankind as well as to the stories of individual men and women, to you and to me.
Their comprehension is more an intellectual quest and/or an emotional balm, but the heart and spirit of the words and the Word is missing. They have not yet met Jesus Christ on a personal level and yielded to Him as not only Savior but as Lord, revealed and enhanced by the Holy Spirit Jesus sent to lead, guide, comfort, encourage, and teach us after His return to the throne room. Such individuals might also, I think, decipher the Bible message as a works-based religion–if they deduce a religion from their readings–than a grace-filled experience with God. Sadly, religion tends to fizzle out and in many cases do a lot more harm than good.
Just as a person who only attaches, like Formica as it were, to another on physical and emotional levels may more easily switch allegiance to another (while a bonded other left behind may grieve hard and at length), a mere Bible student might have a head full of knowledge about the genres of the Scriptures but not the length, depth, and significance of them. Such a student might even experience an attachment to the biblical stories of a god (but just another “small g” god in his/her view) who continually holds out mercy through sacrificing part of His very being for anyone who approaches him for salvation, but until there is a bond in the seeker’s relationship with this God, whole heart and soul and mind (renewed daily on this mortal coil), so much can and does remain hidden. This reminds me of bonded relationships where trust and compassion allow for deep sharing and respect, thus, true intimacy.
But just as fire-formed, time-strengthened granite is more expensive for counter tops and requires more craft to engineer, a bonded relationship whether human to human or human to God requires risk. Risk involving trust and loyalty and yielding to the other and the Other. It involves a “basement” relationship, if you will, of a foundational nature not just an intellectual or in the case of a relationship, a physical/emotional nature.
But the rewards are greater, deeper, longer-lasting, multi-faceted, and less likely to succumb to every nick and scratch and heartache of surface relationships–and in the case of a relationship with the real God, there is also help to discern and to withstand the mind control and spirit-sucking veneer of false religions.
See what the real God may have in store for you, by bonding with Jesus…you know, as they say in song and in verse, He Who is the real Rock of our salvation (and Who took the nicks, scratches, and punishment for us, you might also say).
Here is a good place to begin the quest.
*I love the metaphor possibilities in this description of the strength and durability of granite due to its composition and formation. I love also that granite is known as the “basement rock,” which to me suggests that which is foundational to the earth. Kind of like how Jesus is referred to as the Rock of our salvation–He is granite-strong, you might say, and foundational to the Christian faith. Here is a some information on this beautiful and multi-dimensional rock that I particularly like, from geology.com, contributed by geologist Hobart King:
“Granite in the Continental Crust
Most introductory geology textbooks report that granite is the most abundant rock in the continental crust. At the surface, granite is exposed in the cores of many mountain ranges within large areas known as “batholiths,” and in the core areas of continents known as “shields.”
The large mineral crystals in granite are evidence that it cooled slowly from molten rock material. That slow cooling had to have occurred beneath Earth’s surface and required a long period of time to occur. If they are today exposed at the surface, the only way that could happen is if the granite rocks were uplifted and the overlying sedimentary rocks were eroded.
In areas where Earth’s surface is covered with sedimentary rocks, granites, metamorphosed granites, or closely related rocks are usually present beneath the sedimentary cover. These deep granites are known as ‘basement rocks.'”