I’ve finished reading McManus’ Seizing Your Divine Moment and have begun John Ortberg’s God Is Closer than You Think. While I rarely recommend movies, I am prompt to promote pages. Ortberg is always an entertaining and provocative read. My current pace of a chapter a day will have me done with the book in a week; I’m already in chapter three, and there are 10 chapters.
He brings up the importance of DTR in chapter three. DTR is a concept I became extremely familiar with while working with collegians for eight years. DTR is, simply, define the relationship. Flirting undergrads frequently find themselves in frustrating friendships. (Say that fast 5 times.) There comes a point when one or the other – due to romantic tension, and that usually one-sided – has to request a DTR talk.
Let me abbreviate a DTR talk for you:
- DTR-er: I think we need to take this relationship to another level. (Translated: "I wanna kiss you.")
- DTR-ee: Huh? (Translated: "Oh no, he wants to kiss me!? What have I done to communicate that I’m remotely interested?)
- DTR-er: Uh… (Translated: "I’m an idiot. We’ll have to stay ‘friends.’)
- DTR-ee: Oh look, a cat. (Translated: "This is really awkward.")
- DTR-er: That’s a nice cat. (Translated: "Hmmm… if I buy her a cat, she’ll like me…)
Actually, a DTR talk can relieve a lot of confusion and provide clarity for expectations in a relationship. Ortberg notes this also being essential in our relationship with Jesus Christ. When was the last time you had a spiritual DTR? What does He expect from you? What kind of relationship with Him do you have? Have you been assuming some things in your relationship with Him that are not accurate or true? You can see the immediate necessity and value of a spiritual DTR.
Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." What about taking up your cross is confusing? A spiritual DTR might clarify for us all what exactly God wants with us – and what He offers when we come to Him on His terms rather than our own.
"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." (John 14.21)