Proximity, Friendship, & Purpose
When my wife and I moved to Pasadena, we realized that the decision would bring us within closer proximity to those we love, and bring greater distance between others we love. Proximity is interesting because it breeds a false sense of comfort to those around us. The assumption is made that if someone is within closer distance, you will actually see them more and be more involved in their life. While this can be true, there is something that trumps the rule of Proximity.
Some great friends of ours made the comment the other day, that even though we are further away from them, we see them more often. This is a beautiful gift because we realized that being intentional is what determines the course of the relationship. Proximity does not equal intentionality. There is no power in proximity. There is only convenience in proximity. Proximity can be used, but it is not the barometer of quality. I have lived years in past homes without ever knowing or meeting my neighbors. I have lived in dorm rooms at UCLA without saying a word to people down the hall. We are not the sum total of our surroundings. We are not a result of what was necessarily placed around us. The universe bends according to desire. Things like focus, intentionality and determination are things that move us based on our heart's yearning. We are not victims of proximity, but victorious when intentional.
My closest friends or family do not have to live next to me. My closest allies do not have to be down the street. Do not get me wrong. Proximity can be full of purpose and meaning. We can be intentional about being near. However, we cannot assume that it is proximity that determines anything. It is the intention and the heart behind nearness that breeds love.
There is a deep truth here that has taken a hold of me in the midst of talking and thinking about being close to those we love. We live our life by rating how "close" we are to our destiny and desires. I once heard an interview of John Legend where he said "I thought I was right around the corner from making it, about 5 years before I actually made it." What Mr. Legend was saying is that his idea of being close to being discovered as a musician was far from the reality. He thought certain signs made him closer or more near, but the reality was it took a random connection in Kanye West to really place him among the legends - pun intended.
All of us have a calling. I want to suggest that your calling does not have anything to do with how close you are. Your nearness is based on your perception of proximity. If we are honest with ourselves, we can find that our internal GPS is more often wrong than it is correct. We are not people who are well acquainted with timing - especially timing that is Divine and completely out of our hands. If there is one thing I have learned from proximity and its deceptions, is that I want to be a person who is intentional. I want to pursue things I deem important, and I want to dwell here.
What you treasure is where your time goes. What you treasure is where your heart lingers. Love is not bound by nearness or distance. Love is protected in the hands of One who is intentional. Your Calling is protected by something and Someone who is Intentional. You are not a result of the hand you are dealt. You are a result of a movement that is by Design. Your coming and going is full of Presence. I challenge all of us to think of our greatest joy, not by how close we are to the things we love or want, but how close we are in pursuing those things daily - in habit, thought, and deed. I would rather be miles away from my Calling but close in my love for it, than right around the corner, but detached from its intricacies. I want to discover a different proximity - one that removes my tiny sized ambition, and unleashes a joy and purpose that is greater than I can even imagine.
May you discover a new nearness - A Divine Proximity - The Author of Intention. And unlike Mr. Legend's breakthrough single, may you realize that we are far more than ordinary people. Peace, and much love to you - Jeevo.