I recently started reading a book entitled Refrigerator Rights. The basic premise is that in our society we are horrendously disconnected.
The title of the book, Refrigerator Rights, comes from the idea that if you invited someone you don’t know very well over to your house, it would seem weird if that person got up, walked over to your refrigerator and started looking through it. On the other hand, if one of your siblings came to your house, it would likely not seem at all strange if they opened your refrigerator and grabbed a soda. In order to have refrigerator rights, someone must have a close relationship. But that’s rare in our culture.
After tons of serious research and decades of personal experience, the author said, “I’ve slowly come to the conclusion that the core emotional problem of modern life is this: a pervasive personal detachment and aloofness from other people.”
In other words, the core emotional problem is that we are disconnected. That’s quite a statement. And he’s not basing this on Scripture. But I think he’s exactly right, and I’m basing my conclusion, not on tons of research, but on God’s revealed Word.
Let’s think about this from a different perspective. If we were never hungry, we would likely die. The hunger causes us to go after that which our body needs to stay alive. We can ignore the hunger – act like it’s not real – and we can eventually suppress it enough that we won’t notice it anymore.
In much the same way as hunger pushes us to eat, there is inside us an innate desire/need to be in relationship with others. But, we can – just like it’s possible to ignore the hunger pangs – keep ignoring the impulse for relationship. If we do, we can lose the desire for fellowship with others. If that happens, it does not make the need any less real.
The triune God is the essence of unity. The Lord Almighty has always been in relationship. And if we were created in His image – and we were – then relationship is part of our nature also.