Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Write a letter to God...

Dear God,

"You sure don't act as if God is alive" - that's the accusation one of Pattie's friends made to her, and it has haunted me ever since, as a question: Do I act as if you are alive?

Sometimes I treat you as a substance, a narcotic like alcohol or Valium, when I need a fix, to smooth over the harshness of reality, or to take it away. I can sometimes ease off from this world into an awareness of an invisible world; and most of the time I truly believe it exists, as real as this world of oxygen and grass and water. But how do I do the reverse, to let the reality of your world - of you - enter in and transform the numbing sameness of my daily life, and my daily self?

I see progress, I admit. I see you now as someone I respect, even reverence, rather than fear. Now your mercy and grace impress me more than your holiness and awe. Jesus has done that for me, I suppose. He has tamed you, at least enough so that we can live together in the same cage without me cowering in the corner all the time. He has made you appealing, love-able. And I tell myself he has made me appealing and love-able to you as well. That's not something I could ever come up with on my own; I have to take your word for it. Much of the time, I hardly believe it.

So how do I act as if you're alive? How do the cells of my body, the same ones that sweat and urinate and get depressed and toss and turn in bed at night - how do these cells carry around the splender of the God of the universe in a way that leaks out for others to notice? How do I love even one person with the love you came to bring?

Occasionally I get caught up in your world, and love you, and I've learned to cope OK in this world, but how do I bring the two together? That's my prayer, I guess: to believe in the possibility of change. Living inside myself, change is hard to observe. So often it seems like learned behavior, like adaptations to an environment, as the scientists say. How do I let you change me in my essence, in my nature, to make me more like you? Or is that even possible?

Funny, I find it easier to believe in the impossible - to believe in the parting of the Red Sea, to believe in Easter - than to believe in what should seem more possible: the slow steady dawning of your life in people like me and Janet and Dave and Mary and Bruce and Kerry and Janice and Paul. Help me to believe in the possible, God. by Phil Yancey

Could this be your letter? What would you write?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, but in fairness...

That's how I find myself wanting to respond to contemplations such as these. And they are so frequent: good Christian people, wringing their hands in self criticism over their relationship with God.

But don't ya think that in fairness, coming to grips with the reality of God is not easy for a thinking person? And we are all thinking people. Truth is, the reality of God, the existance of God, is not the same as the reality or existance of everything else we have a relationship with. It's difficult, (understatement) to keep a spiritual being who lives in a place and time that we can't understand in focus. For me, almost impossible. Think of the difference in our awareness and faith that would occur if Jesus, in physical form, walked into our church this Sunday.

My belief is that God understands all this, and cuts us well deserved grace. He made our thought systems, our minds, our intellects, our constraints, and, I'm concluding, understands them fully. I think he knows we don't
get it, and have to go through a constant process of awareness-repenting. But the fact we must go through this process doesn't lower our value in his eyes, nor should it lower our value in our own eyes as we gaze at ourselves or others.

So I take the substance of this post as wonderful - part of the constant process we must follow to "remind" ourselves of God, repent, and move "full speed backwards" to a position closer to God. The accusation in the first line though is definately to be avoided, as against others, and against ourselves. God would be the first to say, I think, "yes, but in fairness"...and give us an abba hug as we take the hint and move back to God. Where we'll stay for a bit until the process needs to be repeated...

just thoughts.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Stew Carson said...

I was reminded of the following that was sent to me recently, and it spoke to my heart, maybe it will to yours Kevin:

"When we rely on our understanding we cannot hear. We miss what others are saying and what God is saying through them. We end up looking for big things, overlooking the small, yet in God, big and small do not exist. We think in terms of big and small because we are limited. Our limitation creates the context. Yet the Father is different than us. As you know, it was no harder for Him to hang the earth in midair and create the sun and moon than it is to provide a prayed for parking space in front of the dentist's office when we are running late. When we trust our own understanding, a paradigm fashioned by our own thinking, we are left to be as the Gentiles, walking in the futility of our thinking... Eph 4:17"

Peace & see you later!

9:58 AM  

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