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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sunday God Thoughts



"He found himself, wrapped in a towel, tired, and sandwhiched between two beautiful, breathing book-ends with his scooter at the ready when it hit him: What am I doing again? Where am I really going?"

......Its exhausting never having answers like those guys in the seminars do. Those messages with the four points beginning with the letter "P" wrap up perfectly, providing the people with points to ponder, and paths to peruse.

Yet I remain puzzled.

If God knows my heart, and His Spirit will pray to the Father for me when I am utterly empty, then why must I pray with these formulas, and perfect intentions?

If mountains can be moved with a simple faith the size of a mustard seed, then why would a mother's pain-wracked prayers not return to her a son, whole in body and mind?

If I know things as fact and they reside as such in my mind, why will my body and my behaviors not act in accordance with that knowledge?

If I pray correctly, fast for forty days, and give my possessions to the poor.... I am here to say that these behaviors will not manipulate God. God is God. Formulas suck. Life is floppy and untidy and uneasy with categorization. And so WHY are we taught that if we do things correctly, God will bless us? That God does not hear prayers spoken with selfish intent? That God wants to bless us so we best get a larger wallet?

WHERE IS THE MYSTERY IN THAT? If God is so containable, why not just get a business degree? A shiney credit card?

My family life can be good but not ideal. My job can be sufficient but not lucrative. My relationships can be rich but imperfect. My empathy for others can be genuine but not life changing. My parents may be wise but dead before I've learned enough.

I accept and need the God of mystery. The One who can see the rhythms of all that, hear the sadness in my heart, and do what He will. The God who is not easily summed up.

An exchange in a Narnia book goes something as follows:

"Is (Aslan) safe?"

"Safe? No. But He's good."

16 comments:

Me said...

Sometimes the only thing we can do is rest in that goodness...

You and Judy are in the same place right now in your thoughts.

Judy said...

Oh, Joyce.

Such comfort in your words!

God IS good.

Although, sometimes it will feel like "He's got you and me sister, in His hands"...

And then He claps them, and it hurts. But, we are still in His hands. Secure.

Anonymous said...

Ya know for growing up in the "Silberfelt" church you are a might deep thinker, young lady...enjoyed your post and would love to comment, if I had a better grasp on "the workings of God" but most of it remains a mystery to me....Lindalew

Heather said...

I've realized lately that the older I get, the less words my prayers contain.

deb said...

I no longer believe in a Christian idea of God, although strangely, I end my prayers every night with, In Jesus name I pray. How's that for betwixt and between?

Life is just our journey and our job is to learn what we need to.

Is your son okay?

Gloria said...

*Ugh* on corny tele-evalgelistic ABC religion and their rules and "secret sins"! God is good, ALL THE TIME, and the size of your wallet is not going to predict your blessings, but rather the size of your personal relationship with God.

Joyce said...

:)
Thanks for anyone concerned about my son's health on this picture.
This was taken during "crash hour", around 4:30 on a weekday.
He's just come in from running around the tramp with a giant water gun, and he's taking a break in front of the Arthur show. The little girls caved like drunken sailors from all our fresh air and outdoor exercise.
I just had to use the photo!

Ruth said...

and my interpretation of what "good" really means gets scewy at times.

H said...

Blogger keeps eating my comment.

God is a beautiful mystery. I can live with that. Prayer is a powerful part of that. I can live with it too.

ps. I'm back
-H

H said...

word verification was:
rholy

Nice touch.

Anonymous said...

I think of those poor kids half way around the world, suffering from preventable infectious diseases. The key word is preventable and yet due to a million different reasons, theirs is a throw away life. Is God safe or good for them?

Faith that is really faith embraces the tension the mystery creates.
And yet it seems we run away from it. We want nothing to do with anything we can't make sense of, or don't have a Bible verse for. I am beginning to believe the most spiritual words in the English language are I don't know. Faith that lives in that place is really faith.
Just my two cents. Beautiful post. I thought of it all day.
Joanne

Joyce said...

"Faith that is really faith embraces the tension the mystery creates"
Its also got to have a lot to do with listening. Not to other people so much, as to listening to the God who we've invited into ourselves. Into our lives. And if we did more of that, would there be less hunger in the world?

it's a gong show... said...

I think the answer to your question is a "yes". We may hear Him but how often do we actually listen.

B

H said...

And so many of us listen but do not realize that we have been created with the ability to DO something about justice.
We are women and men filled with courage, strength, kindness,...
an untapped potential in all of us.
We have to access it and make room in our lives to act on it.
-H

Joyce said...

make room. That's an area that I could learn in.

jenn said...

Loved the post! Loved the picture!