Today brought with it some rare moments of clarity…those moments where everything seems to make sense and fit into life. I’m going to try to capture the revelations of the day with the wholly inadequate, clunky words that I have at my disposal; hopefully it’ll all make sense.
At the oneplace meeting this morning the topic du jour was faith…something I’ve always struggled with. I was encouraged to see that a lot of people who I look up to have the same problems that I do. Specifically, how do I know when God is “speaking” to me; how do I tell that apart from my conscience or random thoughts that occur to me throughout the day? Along those lines…at times I’ve struggled with the idea of a personal God…what does that mean exactly? It’s one of those things that gets said a lot, but it’s hard to understand. Certainly my relationship with God is a lot different than other personal relationships I have… Today I was able, with the help of some things we discussed at the meeting, to put some of this stuff together. In a nutshell, this is what God pointed out to me: All of my relationships with people are facilitated through imperfect, imprecise, crappy verbal language. I’m reminded of a scene in one of my favorite movies, “Waking Life”, where one of the characters philosophizes that we talk about things like love, but each person has a different idea of love based on life experiences…the word is the same and imprecise with each usage yet what we mean can be different each time. Communicating clearly with another human is hit or miss at best, sometimes. What I have with God is completely different. At times I’ve been bitter because God won’t just speak to me in English with a loud, “God” voice. Today I came to the realization that what I have with God is much better than that… I don’t have to use a frustratingly inadequate mode of communication for God to know what’s up with me…he just knows, and that’s beautiful. As for the other side of conversation, he can just put thoughts into my head, allow me to find relevant passages in the Bible, have others speak to me, and a whole host of other ways…tailored to my situation to be the most effective method of getting through to me. The beauty and the difficulty of all this is that in order to speak with God, I have to have faith…faith to step out and do something I think he’s telling me to do, faith to take what I hear or see around me as a direct communication from the Almighty. I know it’s probably freaky for some people for me or others to say “God told me something, ” but realizing today the way it so flawlessly and subtly integrates into my life and how miraculous it really is, I have newfound vigor in sharing what I have in Christ that is so amazing. I hope all that rambling makes sense.
So, anyway, God showed me all that today. I was feeling pretty good; I felt the sweet feeling of something that was once cloudy becoming clear. I thought things couldn’t get any better, but then it did. I was sitting around, talking with these great people who go to oneplace…people who I respect and care about even though the sum total of time I’ve spent with them isn’t that much. I don’t always feel at home with people. It’s hard for me to genuinely connect and so a lot of times I feel like an outsider peering into a group of people, wanting to open myself up, become vulnerable, and join the group. Today I felt like that was happening and it was truly joyous. I thank God very much for that feeling. After I chatted for a while, I thought it was about time to get my stuff together and head home to see my parents. As I was leaving, Jake and Joel–two of the coolest, sweetest, finest kids you can imagine–came up and gave me a hug. It was so warm, so endearing, and so clearly a sign from God that I’ve found a church home full of warmth and caring. I was truly moved…
If ever I seem like I’m talking about oneplace a lot and getting excited about it, it’s because of stuff like this. It’s God speaking to me in ways only he can…crazy stuff, but very cool and very powerful.