Thursday, July 29, 2010

Conversing with God

This morning as I stood out on the porch taking in the glory of a beautiful day, I chuckled and said, "Good job, God!  Your creation is pretty cool."

I waited a moment and said, "And really ... thanks a lot."

It was at that point, I began thinking about how we talk to God.

It's difficult to be comfortable in a conversation with God because it all comes out sounding fairly one-sided.  And what are we supposed to sound like when we actually say words to Him?

For many of us, we learned that Jesus taught us to pray, saying "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name ..."

I'm pretty certain that the words 'art' and 'thy' weren't actually used in Greek or even Aramaic or Hebrew.  Yet, we grew up thinking that if we didn't use proper Old English verbiage and phrase our prayers just right, God might not actually pay any attention.

Does God want us to sound like priests and scholars when we speak to Him or does He want us to just be ourselves, bringing Him our reality .. out loud?

Now, the other side of this coin is that we do need to see Him as something to be awed and revered.  The moment we make Him less than the Creator and Sovereign Lord, we reduce Him to a checkout clerk in a fast-food joint ready to take our order and deliver something to us whether we want it or not.

Don't spend too much time thinking about this, though.  The time would actually be better spent just having that conversation with God. 

Maybe it has something to do with the development of a relationship.  When I first got to know my junior high band instructor, she was Miss McMeekin.  I worked pretty closely with her and she taught me a lot.  Even when I left her and moved on to high school, I spoke to her using her title and we maintained a professional (student/teacher) relationship.

As I grew older, though, our relationship changed.  I participated in a singing group with her, spent time in her home, got to listen to her dreams and hopes for the future.  I shared my life with her and over time, we began to know each other better and I grew comfortable calling her Sandy.  My conversations became much more casual and much deeper.  She and I no longer had to hold each other at conversational arms-length because we didn't know each other and needed to keep things on the surface.  We were able to share deeply.  But, just because the relationship changed, that did not mean that my respect for her lessened.  In fact, it became magnified as I saw the reasons she did what it was she did.

That's the way we approach God.  As our relationship deepens with Him, we don't feel required to keep things at a professional level - trying to ensure He knows that we respect Him and only conversing with Him about spiritual things. 

The entire Bible is God opening up to us with His side of the conversation.  All we have to do is start inserting ours into the spaces between the words, the breath at the end of the sentence and the flip of  a page turn.

The easy conversation comes from a deepening relationship.  It's something I look forward to every day.

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