This post seems kinda scattered. I hope by the end it comes together, but in case you read the whole thing and still don’t know what it’s about, it’s about listening to, and trying to figure out what God’s saying to me in my life, through my life.
I talk a pretty good game. I really do.
Those who know me know that I’ll confess pretty much anything that’s happening in me, if those surrounding me are known to me, and not likely to go around sharing stuff that ought not be shared.
But there are still things I keep to myself. Things that, if I can choose, will never see the light of day. (There’s a line from an Andy Gullahorn song, “The Secret”, that haunts me. “Cause he knew carryin’ secrets to the grave was impossible to do…. The secrets carry you.”. But that’s a little off topic in this post)
One of the things I mostly keep to myself, but will confess on occasion, is that I’m more talk than action. Like a couple of posts ago, where I posted a clean water video, and was challenged to actually do something about it. Well, I still haven’t done anything.
For the last fifteen years or so I’ve been an avid reader. Almost always devotional/theological in nature, almost always authors that are long dead. It’s not uncommon for me to be reading four or five books at a time, all the time. It has been a great source of comfort, encouragement and learning for me.
It’s been said that there are two ways of reading, reading for information, and reading for formation. While I understand what that gets at, I have for years read a third way. For confirmation. To know that I’m not out in left field somewhere, to know that someone else has been thinking the same thoughts, that this is not some lonely path that I’m on and folks a lot smarter than me have traveled this way before me.
Well, for the last six or eight months I’ve been unable to read much. Can’t concentrate for long, get fidgety, have to put it down. The comfort, encouragement and learning just aren’t there.
Yesterday, A friend of mine, who has been ministering to folks in various stages of grief and recovery, asked if I’d like to come with him and just be with these folks.
I immediately started thinking of excuses not to.
Here’s where I’ll try to pull it all together.
I believe that God is personally involved in my life. shaping me into the likeness of Jesus, knowing everything that I think and say because he is in me and with me at all times wherever I go. I believe that he is speaking at all times, and if I have the ears to hear and the eyes to see and I learn to pay attention, he shows and tells me things.
Sometimes I have trouble hearing God and understanding what he’s trying to show/teach/reveal/uncover/etc….
This morning I realized, and I’m pretty sure, that God’s telling me to move from the theoretical to the actual in my life.
The first instance is the clean water video. That one’s straight forward, I lament the fact that much of the world doesn’t have clean water, and suffers from the disease that comes from drinking nasty water. Theoretical. The step now is to do something, in this case a donation to an organization that supplies the means to clean water.
The next one, not being able to read much. Brennan Manning tells of a retreat where his director flat out tells him that he’s had enough insights into the spiritual life, and now it’s time to live his life in the light of those insights. That story has been running through my mind for several months now. I believe that I’m not able to read for the same reason. I know a lot about the christian life. It’s time to start living it out, and until I do I probably won’t be given much more insight. Like Brennan, I already have enough insight to last for years.
Finally, it was all too obvious in that moment of searching for an excuse yesterday that I would rather keep it theoretical, all talk, and not enter in the fray.
Somebody please ask me Monday if I’ve done anything, or just thought about it.