Sunday, May 01, 2005

Please...

What does your alone time with God look like when it happens? I don't want to know about what you've read unless you've applied it--no theology or 'isms. Don't tell me about what you want it to look like. I don't want C. S. Lewis or G. K. Chesterton or anyone else with cool initials and fantastic writing skills. I want you. Give me a flawed, real peek into your relationship with Him. I'm struggling right now, and I'd appreciate your input, and I'm too tired for image-maintenance.

Tuesday, May 10, 1:45 pm
Thanks for your transparency. I easily replace getting to know God with doing stuff for God.

If my roommate Amy were to water the plants, mow the yard (even sweeping after edging), take out the trash, vacuum, dust, make our beds, clean the cat litter, and make my dinner--that would seem wonderful and healthy to both of us. But if she were to do all these things and go through that same day without speaking to me, I would be hurt and not care a lick about the lawn or litter. I don't want to treat God like that.

It takes a lot for me to just sit and be still. When Amy and I watch movies, I always have something in my hands to do (It drives her crazy). What must it be like to need Him like I need air? What must it take for me to get to that point of trusting Him like I trust this computer chair?

Right now, He feels a little bit like a suitor that I'm not sure is cut out for me. So I don't always return his calls, and when we do hang out, I make sure I do all the talking--the relationship is easier to control that way. When he asks a hard question, I have a witty retort and casually turn the subject to the latest on itunes or that project I hear he's into in China. At the end of the date, I'm sure to thank him for the coffee so he can't say I'm an ingrate, and I give him a vague promise of doing it again sometime. I smile to friends when asked about him later and remark, "Yeah, he's a nice guy . . . I'm just not sure about that China-thing, though."

22 comments:

natalie said...

Relationship with God? I am working hard at not even having a relationship with myself.

Myles said...

long silences. punctuated prayers. naked words. two eyes open for God around the corner.

Anonymous said...

i don't believe what i do because i want to. in fact, there are many times that i wish i had no faith at all. so, there's a good chance that i might not be qualified to participate in this survey.

when i do 'talk' with god, it's like an awkward conversation with a friend that you owe money. these moments sneak up on my when i'm driving in my car, working late at night and/or sometimes when my mind just starts wondering at work, they're never really scheduled and are generally unexpected.

if i had to describe what they look like (that was the assignment, yes?) i'd have to refer to the old cartoons (tom and jerry comes to mind) where the character has a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other... except i have two devils, one on each shoulder, and i spend my quite time explaining to them why i can't do what they want me to do (even if i have at times in the past and even if i'm about to do what they want me to anyway).

i have yet to hear god's voice as plainly as some people make it sound like i should. (although there has been the occasional resounding 'no' as prayers i've made in earnest get shut down by the reality of the way things end up being). i do still try like hell to do the right thing and to make my heavenly father proud.

well, you asked.

matt

Sean said...

Je bois mate latte et je fais mes devoirs francais. Je crois en l'existense le Dieu, mas nous ne nous disons pas trop de tous.

Sean said...

I forgot a pronoun for the tea I was drinking. I think I might have done better to say, "Je bois me mate latte..." Please forgive me, for I have sinned, etc.

Sean said...

I know there is such a thing as possive pronouns, but I haven't learned them yet. So I think my feeble "me mate latte" has got to be incorrect, and until a later date I must settle for the humble "la mate latte". I apologize for the cockups.

Rachel said...

I think Matt's response was pretty descriptive of lots of people out there, including me. It definitely feels like "an awkward conversation with a friend that you owe money" sometimes. Other times it's a list of stuff I want without ever really opening my heart.

I was doing one of those Beth Moore Bible studies with a friend from church a few months ago, and I really loved it. She moved away... and my lack of discipline kicked in. It takes at least a full hour to complete one of those Bible studies, and... gosh, "I just don't have the time" sounds pretty pathetic, doesn't it?

I don't think I've *ever* been really happy with my prayer life or "quiet time" life or what have you. I always feel a little guilty. I know all the theology about why I shouldn't, but... it's a struggle for me.

Rick said...

psalms - and the gospels. read the stories, put yourself in their places. cry out with david, and feel the stares of the pharisees. stuff like that where the bible comes alive to you. "the scriptures reads you, more than you reading scripture."

vague, i know. but at least it's not french.

Anonymous said...

8 verses of psalm 119 every night thats it. along with it comes the nagging feeling of shouldn't it be more and why can't i get up to do this in the morning. but i have come to the conclusion that thats all i can do right now is read how David so loved the Word and hope by rereading and rereading it and begging God for it that one day i will wake up and choose it. Hopeful and lacking thats what it looks like.

Anonymous said...

oh yeah that was me sorry
Holli

Oh and Sean it is Je bois la mate latte ( la cause it's feminine I think or if its some de la but most likely you are saying the, right?)Mais Je n'ai etudie encore francais et Je pense que j'oublie presque la grammaire, desoler

Anonymous said...

Well...

I don't know. I guess I just go to bed wondering how I can communicate to God most honestly. It usually begins with a thanks, me kneeling before my bed. Last night, it included a request to help me wake up earlier in the morning so that I could talk to him longer. Do you ever do that? Anyway, there are a lot of thank-yous, you rock, stuff like that. Then I'll try to think of people for whom I told them I'd pray, I'll pray for family, pray for Brett (roommate), or anyone else. Then I ask for help and strength. Especially for God's power to be lived out in me via the Holy Spirit. I've been seeking the gift of speaking in tongues because there are so many times that words can't express what I'm thinking or feeling.

Well, that's it. Hope it helps. Probably not as profound as you were hoping. Wait--you didn't want profound.

Sincerely
C.S. Lewkirk

JEB said...

Suzanne,
I'm glad you did this. It's nice to read that I'm not the only one that is disappointed and ashamed of how little I have to describe to you. And I wonder why He feels so distant at times...
Yikes. Thanks again for posting this.

Anonymous said...

Mostly I'm hoping that I'm still on the right path, that I still have faith, that I'm not completely deceived in thinking that I'm any kind of OK. I wonder what He thinks about me, and I feel like I'm always falling short of getting it right. Every great once in a while things hurt so much that I get out a prayer or I read somewhere in the Bible and I feel comforted and reassured; sometimes I think up what I would say to God if I were talking to Him. Mostly I feel like I don't know how to be real and honest with Him and I don't trust my motives, I don't understand, and I feel overwhelmed, confused, and I vaguely remember when God felt so close. But I know that He's good, more trustworthy than anyone or anything else, and He saved my life. But mostly I don't feel what I know about Him to be true.
So I don't have 'quiet' or 'alone times' with God (except rarely, when I feel like...like it hurts too much and I can't take anymore, like life is hurt; and then sometimes I'll pray or read the Bible and it gets better, and sometimes the hurt and confusion and feeling overwhelmed feels bearable again). I know He's there, I don't know what's going on, with Him or alot with myself.
I think I might avoid Him alot because feeling that open and exposed...I don't want to face that much reality. This is pushing it enough. Plus if I avoid Him maybe He won't ask as much of me; maybe...I can ignore the stuff inside and out that I can't handle and not listen.

Jerm AKA Jerry

Andronicus said...

..good question suz. Hmm......I find myself wanting to say something encouragind, but i'll be as honest as I can be instead, which may or may not be encouraging. I may be the biggest doubter of all time. Doubting Thomas has nothing on me. Doubting Andy. And at the same time, there is that unshaking stubborness, that is my faith, that pulls me through in the crappiest of times when there isn't anyone else to talk to or you can't talk to anyone else for various reasons.
I too, seem to pray more when I'm driving. Driving, and just before bed. But a lot of times i feel like i'm just praying to a wall, or worse, myself. That that I doubt God isn't listening, but my lacking in being about to fully conceptulize what I'm praying too. I struggle with not being able to picture God, and it feels at times that i'm just spouting off riddles to my own problems. And yet, at times i feel so close, and doubt is so far away. I've found that if when i pray I start with thanking, the rest of the process of talking to God takes a different tone. When I'm being humble, it's easy to thank God for a long, long time. Anyway, i've lost my train of thought, more news later.......thanks for this.

savingface said...

i'm riding a bike and this guy keeps telling me, "hey dude, watch out for that parked car there." i say, "hey thanks guy" and wave and stuff. then he says, "no seriously, watch out for that parked car. it ain't moving for ya."
"yeah cool, no problem mate. i got it."
so i'm peddling along and plow into the parked car, the back tire comes up and i'm hurled face first into the hood.
dude helps me up and says, "sorry man, i tried tellin ya, but ya know...you're the one peddlin."
"yeah it's cool. no hard feelins."
yeah, so i get back on like nothin happened and toodle off again and this dude says, "hey man, watch out for that pothole."
and i say, "cool man, i got it."

natalie said...

Ok, now write something new!!

Myles said...

vous etes dorks. sean, j'aime te voir en Julliet en la ville de Kansas.

Sean said...

Very good, Myles. Except you verb tense is present, and it may need to be conditional? I'm not a grammar god, though, so correct me if I'm wrong. << Sean, j'aimerais te voir en Julliet en la ville de Kansas. >> Nice work on "te"--I wouldn't have known to use that.

Myles said...

yeah, but i'll change it to the future tense, not conditional, to indicate not desire to do so, but the imperative that the future will come to pass.

as such:

"Sean, je vais te voir en Julliet en la ville de Kansas. Suz, si tu veux visiter KC a' cette semaine, ecrivez-moi."

Anonymous said...

i flunked french... twice.

that was before i found my try calling as a kicker of ass.

i guess you just have to go with what you're best at.

matt

Anonymous said...

make that "trUE calling"

and don't ask how many times i flunked english.

matt

Esue said...

Savingface, I love that...I do that often...sometimes daily. I am so hardheaded.

I actually did that in real life once...in middle school...was driving buy a kid's house that I liked and slammed into his mother's parked car with my bike and ended up sprawled all over the trunk.