“The dark sky created a hiding place for the hundreds of hearts in that field who for the first time this night had their eyes opened to God, whose eyes had been fixed on them since before they were born. The curtain was pulled back and a new dawn offered, in the night.”

“My unspoken rule was that this set-aside time, my “quiet time,” as I called it, should be at least thirty minutes, but, thankfully, no more than an hour. It was a rare day when I wasn’t counting down time. … And this designated time to press toward Him, to receive? Most days it was, to me, dry obligation. … God was big enough for me to pattern my time into telling others about Him, but not real enough for me to find any delight in Him. He was a task, a box to be checked.”

“I needed to ask God about this. I sat with my open-ended question and my Bible, expecting an echo. I’d gotten used to talking at God; a mutual exchange was unfamiliar.”

edmund-dulac-1

All of these quotes are in the second chapter of  Everything Bitter is Sweet by Sara Hagerty and reflect my walk with God almost to a ‘T’. When I was newly born in Christ it was amazing – the energy, the zeal, the desire to love and serve God overruled everything else in my life. Those first few years were, indeed, like a curtain was pulled back and a new dawn in the darkness of my night and pain.

As I grew from young adult into full adult the sheen was lost on my relationship with God. He was and still is in many ways, a box to be ticked, an obligation to fulfill.  Furthermore, I, too, am well familiar with talking at God – never really knowing if He is listening or if/how He is responding.

Where do I go from here? I don’t know – am I putting too much hope in a book to help guide me? Was it the Hand of God that led me to this book? I certainly didn’t go looking for it. I was just perusing the local library website of recent arrivals and ran across it after about 30 or 40 pages of books and thought it sounded interesting. Truly only time and reading the book will tell.

All I know for sure is that I need something – something to help me figure out my relationship with God. Over the years of searching and exploring I have come to realize I have a fairly distorted view of God the Father owing to my earthly father and his terrible foibles. At his hands I learned love is conditional – if it is given at all; that ‘father really does know best’ and he doesn’t give a flying turd about what you think and feel or who you are; and that father is a terrifying and abusive monster with impossible expectations. With that type of patterning is it any wonder if have issues with God? (Thankfully, I think I believe He has no issues with me.)

So maybe for today only, I will think about grabbing a chisel and hammer and maybe pry off a tiny piece of the distorted lens with which I view God. It’s scary – thinking about it. For if I take away the only view I have of God, distorted it may be, will He be there on the other side? Faith says yes. Feelings say no. Which to believe?

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