Are you seeking God? I am. And I don’t think the seeking ever stops. God, to me, is kind of like a taste of something so good you want more, but when you have more, it’s still not enough. And then there are the times you can’t find God at all. And people might say, well, that’s because you moved, not God. Even so, you can’t hear or see him. Like the way the clouds put a lid over the Okanagan Valley, and you begin to wonder if the sun is really there, or ever was there, even though it was here just last summer for an extended stay. And then, the sun comes out! My relationship with God is like that. Is yours?
I went to church (a building at Spall and Springfield) yesterday for the first time in several weeks. I’ve struggled getting there, wanting to be there, making excuses why I couldn’t go and even did some digging beneath that to the real reasons why. They weren’t pretty or even rational, but they were a place to start. Last Sunday I spent some time at the church at Sarsons beach (a concrete table with a lake view) and there I worked through my excuses and some tearful asks of God, starting with asking him to forgive me for the ugly stuff in my head and heart.
I’m not saying going to church need be a marker for you, but for me it somehow is. To not go, means something. And to go, means something. Usually, if I ask God, and if I go listening and looking, I come away with some plain truth. Or something. A word. Or a sentence. Or just a feeling that my heart is a little more tender towards God and his kids that I am with day in and day out, beginning with God’s kids in this house.
So, yesterday I came home from church recognizing what…? Well, I guess recognizing that the message from the text in Romans 7 is applicable to me. That my struggle is like every man’s struggle with wanting to do the right thing, but doing the wrong thing instead. That being a christian is not like taking a magic pill and having a wonderful life. It’s just not. That life is hard and bad things happen and christians like me do not have all the answers. And recognizing that setting time aside to sing and worship and listen and learn and thank and press the restart button is a good thing. Always a good thing, for me.
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7, 24-25
How ironic that just a couple of hours later I was so angry at one of God’s kids living under this roof that I stomped upstairs to my room, slammed the door, cussed and stomped some more, and then returned to the kitchen to emphasize my mood with clanging of pots and banging of dishes. Amazing how noisy cooking can get when your mood is involved! Another one of God’s kids reminded me that I should maybe calm down. All this over my inability to pause, to consider, to put down my way and allow a suggestion of another way, just as valid and workable and better than mine.
Why do I tell you all this? I guess because I never, never, ever, want to give the impression of being anything I’m not. Maybe I might come across as having answers or even having the answer to a specific situation. That’s so not true. I have an opinion, I have a suggestion, I have lessons I have learned. That is all.
I know I’m repeating what I shared a few posts back, but I just want to make sure you hear me say the only hope here is God variety hope. God hope. Jesus hope. That’s it. I don’t offer anything else lasting.
So, does my position on giving ‘answers’ mean there are no absolutes? Absolutely not. But I will not sacrifice relationships for “being right” any more. I will present what I believe is true, and I will try to do so with kindness, with love. If you ask me hard questions, chances are I will not have a prepared shiny answer for you. I’m not gifted in apologetics. I’m not a critic. I might suggest you read something. I might suggest you talk with someone. If God would use my life and this blog to say something, then I am humbled by that. Greatly humbled.
God is what matters. God is interested in you. God wants to answer your questions, so, seek God out in the myriad of ways you can find him. It may be in the fullness of the natural world. It may be in music, or in the arts, or in a church, or in people. In serving, or giving, or learning, or solitude and silence.
Saturday I sat outside as the sun pulled back the clouds and shone it’s warmth on my face. I picked up a handful of snow, somewhat melting and compacted into little snow balls turning into ice balls… corn snow, I believe it’s called. And I held it there, sun glinting off the surfaces like little mirrors and I thought of those little balls of snow ice, how cold the melting in my warm hand, and what a sensual God, God is. How we can find him with our ears, our eyes, our fingers and our tongues… how everything is a miracle.
How the fullness of God, God glory, is waiting to be found in everything.
Tell me, where have you found God?
Your honest expression is refreshing… thank-you!
I have not been in a church building to worship for over 4 years. I am on a journey to find Him in the church that is NOT built by human hands… it’s a lonely journey – painful journey – journey into freedom – journey of many lessons to be learned – a journey of surrender – my journey in Him…
It really is hard to put into words, this rocking back and forth between the historical context and the wide open potential of who God is and where he wants me to be. I don’t know… like you, it’s step by step. And I mess up royally quite often :) xo LA
“But I will not sacrifice relationships for “being right” any more.” What if, just what if, relationships ARE being right? What if being good is better than being right? What if being righteous is more important to God than being right? What if one purports to be “right” but does so without love? Would that not then be “wrong” by John’s definition in 1 John? God is much more concerned with manner in which we live our theology than the “rightness” of said theology.
You say some marvelous stuff here, L-A.
Your affirmation and commentary mean a lot. Thank you, Rob.
I love when people such as yourself are vulnerable about their very real struggle with the enigmatic journey of faith. It’s refreshing and ultimately, redemptive for onlookers who have many of the same questions. Keep walking in faith and living in the tensions inherent with finite humans seeking to know someone infinite.
I too have had those Sunday mornings when I just can’t face the crowd….even if they are brothers and sisters on the same journey as me. I have had some of my sweetest times with God down by the lake, for I too am drawn to the water. There I wrestle with God, praise Him, cry out to Him, and sometimes just bask in the peace that is Him. Don’t get me wrong…I love church and am often so blessed there, and hope that I am also a blessing. It’s just that sometimes Sunday morning is the only time I get to just breathe and be still….and what better place than by our beautiful lake, looking out at the mountains and breathing deep.
Thanks for your transparency and understanding heart. To breathe is often so hard to do… ironic, really. Deep breathing, needs to be learned and given space. Thank you so much for sharing here.
[…] ← p.s. Image ↓ Jump to Comments […]