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Saturday, March 19, 2011

The God I’ve Come to Know (to this point)

I look to Heaven, I utter my prayers, I speak to a God I cannot see with my eyes and I ask Him what He wants from me. I expect an answer. I expect to be told. My willingness to be told what to do seems humble enough. And yet the silence is difficult to handle. It is not vacant silence, like speaking into nothingness. It is patient silence. In time I come to understand that God will not be contained in my assumptions.

I assume God wants to tell me what to do. I assume this because I have read about Moses and the burning bush. I assume this because I have read about Abraham. I assume this because I have read about Noah. I have documented proof that God tells people what to do and then they do it, perhaps with some resistance at times. So, I follow the pattern with a promise of compliance. And yet every bush I see is a normal bush. There is no sense of impending flood. I do not get a word from God about what I should do.

I look to God and ask Him what He wants and all I can figure is that He is looking back at me and asking me the same question. It is a most unsettling question. Really? Is this a test? Is there such a freedom in living with God? And if so, what is the responsibility that is joined with it? No. NO! Tell me what to do. Then I can know what to do. I can be certain I am doing the right thing.

And then I am confronted with the reality that God wants to relieve me of my lust for certainty. If God were to tell me exactly what to do, then He would be feeding my lust for certainty, He would feed my idolatry. For God to obey my command for exact commands would be for Him to accept my request for Him to no longer be my God.

Yes, I know to love people and to love God is the general command. It is a command because it is how this world best operates. Genuinely loving God and people is to make this world a better place than it is. But everyone gets that command. I want a Moses type of command. One with clear instructions. And still I get nothing. The more I want it the more silence I get. My soul rages with lust for certainty and God will never give it to me because He loves me too much to quit being my God, which is what He would have to do in order to answer my prayer how I want Him to.

It is a complicated prayer that I pray, ironic and self-defeating. The pray looks honest enough, God, what do you want? but it is selfish in its core. At its core it denies the freedom, creativity, and abilities that have already been placed within me. It denies my sense of agency, initiative, and courage that cannot be expressed in robotic compliance. In short, my prayer is for God to help me deny being made in His image. My prayer is really, God, help me be less like you.

The God I have come to know loves me too much to put forth efforts to help me self-destruct in this way. He answers my prayers by refusing to answer my prayers.

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4 comments:

jimmy said...

Thanks for posting this -an honest prayer. As I read the opening paragraphs I also thought of Moses on the mountain. But as I continued reading I thought of Moses after confronting Pharaoh, and to his amazement the greatest king in the land didn't want to part with his free laborers. To make it worse, he made it more difficult for God's people, and the people were angry with God. This post is a modern retelling of Moses' honesty at the end of Exodus 5 -those times we show our humanity when we expect God to act quickly just because he promised to act.

Janet said...

This is strangely comforting to think of God like this. All of those answers I *think* I need...all of those times I want to be told if I'm right or wrong...God just says that I'm his child and he expects me to take what I know, what I've learned, and make a decision. It may not be right...or it may be. But it is what it is...and that where the learning, growing, and development takes place.

Fajita said...

@Jimmy: Yes, the speed of God, who can know?

@Janet: Strange comfort. Yes. That is a great way to say it.

Janet said...

This is strangely comforting to think of God like this. All of those answers I *think* I need...all of those times I want to be told if I'm right or wrong...God just says that I'm his child and he expects me to take what I know, what I've learned, and make a decision. It may not be right...or it may be. But it is what it is...and that where the learning, growing, and development takes place.