Thursday, May 06, 2010

House Fly's And God

Do you ever wish that God had a web site? I know that the Bible is not kidding when it says that He is with us always. He dwells in us. We can go to Him anytime with anything. He loves us and He cares about all of the issues of our lives. I buy into that 100%. The problem is not in whether or not God is really present in me and available to me. The problem is in our (my) ability to hear Him when He speaks. And not simply hear Him but understand His Heart. I want to know more than the syllables He would speak into my soul. I want so deeply to understand His intent ... I want to "get" everything He wants me to "get." I don't want to drop the ball on Him. Not even one time. It just isn't acceptable. God is much more forgiving of me than I am of myself. When I blow it He still loves me and forgiveness is total. I, on the other hand, want to smack myself around the block a few times and punish myself for getting it wrong. Even if I didn't mean to get it wrong. (Don't misunderstand. I am perfectly capable of disobeying on purpose. But I want to disobey on purpose less and less these days. I really do want to please Him.)

I was just surfing through a few minutes ago. I wanted to check out a few things on my cell phone package. It's a pretty easily navigable web site. Lot's of drop-down menu's. Your personal information is available at the click-of-a-mouse once you've punched in the appropriate password and user name. It took less than five minutes to find out everything that I wanted to know, log out, and move on to the next on-line task.

And it all just reminds me of the way I spent my day today. I've been feeling a little spiritually malnourished lately. Pastor's tend to feed other's several times each week. It's part of the calling. It is as it should be. But the very nature of what we do makes it difficult to get spiritually fed yourself. When others are teaching God's Word, so are you. So you can't exactly sit under their teaching and "eat." If you are not careful it won't take long until you realize you've allowed your spiritual reserves to run a bit low. I try to be diligent to defeat this by listening to tons of sermons on podcasts, video casts, and I read more books than I could begin to list. But still, I've been feeling the need for more. If I'm going to feed others I have to be certain to eat enough myself.

It's kind of like when you get on an airplane and the flight attendants are doing their thing, telling you what to do in case of an emergency. At one point they tell you that in the unlikely event of cabin depressurization, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling above. Put one over your face, pull on the rubber tubing and air will flow. Then they make it a point of saying that if you are traveling with a small child you should put YOUR oxygen mask on before putting theirs on them. That is quite counter-intuitive for parents. We want to take care of the kids, make sure they are breathing, and then we'll take care of ourselves. But the truth is, before you can get their mask on you might well pass out from lack of oxygen and then everybody is in trouble. You have to have air before you can give air.

A teacher has to be faithful to learn before he can teach others or he will soon run out of, well, not just stuff to teach but the spiritual energy with which to teach it.

So I've decided to dedicate one day each week for a while to seeking God through prayer, bible study, silence, and solitude. I don't know how long I'll do that but for now I believe it is what God is telling me to do. I want to feed others well. So I have to eat. I work hard to get my regular office duties/outreach/in-reach/sermon preparation/bible study preparation/visits/ meetings/ counseling sessions/ etc. into four days so that I can dedicate one to being totally available to whatever God wants to say to me.

That is what I did today. It's been a while since I've given myself this assignment and you know what? It's harder than I remembered. MUCH harder. It's hard in the getting still. It's hard in the getting quiet. It's hard in the knowing what God wants to feed me from His Word. It's hard in the knowing what devotional materials will do me the most good. In the middle of the silence a mere house fly can tear my mind from the creator of the universe. What a shame to have to choose between a house fly and God only to find that God loses.

With God there is no web address. There are no drop-down menus. There are no pass words or user names. There are no "company representatives" to click a button and "chat" with if you need help. (Wouldn't it be cool to punch "chat" and get some clarification from Peter or maybe one of the Archangels? You don't suppose God would outsource ... nah ...) It would be a whole lot easier if there were. But there is just you ... and God. And He has the upper hand. The room can get small. The silence can get stifling. The words on the page can begin to look like a size 3 font. But you do what you have to do. Because not to do it ... unacceptable.

Eat or die.