During the past forty years or so, spanning roughly our careers as teachers and research scientists, Einstein's theory of general relativity has made the transition from a largely mathematical curiosity with limited relevance to the real world to arguably the centerpiece of our effort to understand the universe on all scales.
At the largest scales, those of the universe as a whole, cosmology and general relativity are joined at the hip. You can't do one without the other. At the smallest scales, those of the Planck time, Planck length, and Planck energy, general relativity and particle physics are joined at the hip. String theory, loop quantum gravity, the multiverse, branes and bulk – these are arenas where the geometry of Einstein and the physics of the quantum may be inextricably linked. These days it seems that you can't do one without the other.
At the intermediate scales that interest astronomers, general relativity and astrophysics are becoming increasingly linked. You can still do one without the other, but it's becoming harder. One of us is old enough to remember a time when the majority of astronomers felt that black holes would never amount to much, and that it was a waste of time to worry about general relativity. Today black holes and neutron stars are everywhere in the astronomy literature, and gravitational lensing – the tool that relies on the relativistic bending of light – is used for everything from measuring dark energy to detecting exoplanets.