Tuesday, April 8, 2008
The Proverbial Box.
It will be a poor analogy, but one that encompasses what my insufficient words are attempting to convey.
When bombarded with anything, it seems like our minds and our hearts become this container. A container that collects our thoughts, our emotions, our fears, our joys and our concerns, etc--and as it collects, these all become swirled together. We attempt to sort them out, categorize them, and make sense of them. And then, with those manipulated, compartmentalized concepts, we come before God. We come before God with things that have already been tried to be solved, dealt with, or somewhat figured out. We get them into a place of "OK, things are kind of in control" before we offer them to God and place them at the feet of his throne.
Then, other times, we proceed to our Step 2. If we do get our ducks in a somewhat organized row and place them at his throne, we expect him to align them, make them right, finish off the job-put the final touches on it that we are obviously not capable of. We come before him because we expect resolve in our distress, our despair and our incapacity of handling something completely by ourselves, with our own, foolishly self-appointed power. And in these moments, that object of disdain or sorrow becomes the impetus behind why we go before God. And if he doesn't follow through with our own desires, the idea of him merely becomes a roadblock on our road to fixing the immediate "problem."
Well, here's the problem with that "problem." Our dilemma is that we don't see God in view as we're bringing these things before him. We are not seeking him out, searching after him to know him and his will for us. We are merely seeking him out to get something fixed, to pave the pot holes, to sand off the edges for us-so that we can experience what we think to be peace of mind.
This is where my analogy somewhat falls apart. Rather than treating God as one whom we come before to dump out our issues, we need to approach him as this completely immeasurable, ever-expanding "box" with no constraints, no parameters-something absolutely incomprehensible to our limited minds because of its very nature. Where we are confined by time, by measurements and by comparison; he is constantly present in a timeless, immeasurable, absolutely unique and perfect existence. And it is in his existence, in his complete fullness, that he beckons us to come before him. To come into that "box" that IS God, not to dump into, but to rest safely inside, to be amazed by, and to trust that the "box" that IS him is much greater than the box that we so feebly try to put him into. This "box"contains everything that we know or could attempt to conjure up. It is, in this "box" that everything exists, finds purpose, finds life and finds freedom to be broken; and in that freedom, the capacity to be healed, restored, and ultimately realizing that it has been made new.
This "box" is just a poor parallel to what is his truly immeasurable Love. The Love that gives breath, and gives purpose for all who simply receive; that gives life-that is life. And in this, may we find such joy in receiving Love and truly yearning and striving to know our God.