The Law of Familiarity and The Law of Proximity


I’ve been thinking a lot about these laws at work in my life. They are two that I wish I could get overcome like a bird defying the law of gravity. They work in conjunction to challenge my commitment to anything, to keep me complacement, distracted, or even hopeless.

The Law of Familiarity determines that the more I spend time with and get to know anything, and the more something becomes just a normal part of life – the less I am excited about it or the less I am to give it the attention it deserves. I see this happen in all aspects of life – relationships, work, hobbies, exercise, initiatives. Sometimes things just become… boring!

On the other hand, the Law of Proximity says that the further I am away from something, the less I focus on it or the more I forget about it. Its grandeur diminishes – in my eyes at least. Think mountain top experiences, motivational conferences, relaxing vacations, the Israelites and the eyewitness miracles. I forget the impact they had on me once I’m so far away. And the inspiration and commitment they inspired starts to wane the further away I get in time or space.

You can see that the two of these laws combined make a strong force to reckon with. Or maybe just a comfy blanket of apathy. My challenge is staying in the balance of the two laws – not too familiar but not too far away. The only way is to continually discover something new. We never actually get to know something or someone as deep as we can. There’s always something new to discover. There’s something new to discover about my wife of 11 years, my children, my job and boss of 13 years. And although He never changes, there’s something new to discover about the Ancient of Days, the Everlasting God.

No eye has seen, and no ear has heard the depths of your love, Lord.
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him (1 Corinthians 2:9).”
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known (1 Corinthians 13:12).”

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