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Archive for the ‘God is Far Away’ Category

VOICEMAIL AGAIN!!!!!

I never thought God would succumb to using voicemail. I seemed to be getting that a lot lately. I hope He doesn’t get into outsourcing.

There’s an old rhetorical saying, “If God seems far away, guess who moved?”

Now, if God’s mouth seems silent, isn’t it possible that my ears are actually plugged? The only way to find that out is if I get close enough to get a good look at Him. Perhaps it would be comical and look like a silent film – The Almighty’s mouth is moving but we need subtitles because our ears are so danged stopped up.

Lately, I seemed to be drifting into some sort of spiritual deafness that led to feeling like I had lost my bearings. You ever feel like knocking that GPS lady on the side of her head? I couldn’t hear and couldn’t find my way.

My wise pastor suggested, that when passion languishes, it’s because something/someone may be getting in the way. It’s classic. It could be a desire, worry, problems, career, loneliness or whatever that begins to mask God. When I was a soccer goalie, we used to call it getting ‘screened.’ The opposing team puts someone in your way so you can’t see the shot…hmmm, definitely a spiritual analogy there. At any rate, something gets in the way of you seeing what’s really going on.

“God, who at various times and in VARIOUS WAYS spoke in time past…” Hebrews 1:1a Taking this a bit out of context (but we’ll get to the real context later), mankind has always been able to understand that God is and He is close by through various means. For me, as long as I’m near nature or at least near a window, it’s hard not to see God. For example, I’m sitting here on the back porch and this crazy hummingbird is making these huge U flight patterns and singing at the same time. I don’t know if it’s mating season or if God is literally “speaking” through this tiny bird for dramatic effect.

Another of the “various ways” God speaks to me is through relationships. If my relationships get off kilter, I can get lost real easily. It’s almost as if He forces me to keep my relationships healthy.

And, what of my life’s desires and goals? I love to press into them and feel God’s pleasure when I am hitting on all eight cylinders.

So, the dynamic is this: the very things that God uses in my life to “see” and “hear” Him are the exact same things that can lead me away from Him. As a goalie, I found that the guilty screener could be my own fullback! There will always be a time-tested tension between desires and closeness to God. Sometimes those desires lead us straight to His bosom and other times they can cause us to walk into His shadow.

This dynamic that I speak of can be circuitous and can happen to even the most mature and intuitive spiritual person. Just look at King David on his roof: he was up high and still had lost perspective. John the Baptist was low and in prison and had lost some vision. The very things that help balance our lives and seem to hold it together (i.e. family, jobs, relationships, interests, etc.) begin edging their way toward idolatry. It’s insidious.

If you’ve ever been lost in the woods or on a trail, there’s only one solution: yell with all your might and go back to where you last knew where you were. Getting back to the context of Hebrews 1, we ought to finish the verse: “…in these last days [He has] spoken to us by His Son.” For Christians to take their eyes off Jesus even for a second sets them up for the Peter-stepping-out-of-the boat syndrome. You start looking at waves and the wind and slip into some sinking stinkin’ thinkin’.

Personally, I had to return to worship. I went out to my back porch, picked up my guitar and sang my heart out and found myself found.  God had finally returned my call. He just sent the hummingbird to make sure I got the message.

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