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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Kings and Puppies

Everyday I spend with God, the more colorful life seems to become. People become more interesting, the daily activities aren't as mundane, and I don't need an ounce of alcohol to have fun. All in all, life is good.

Over the past few days, I've been challenged at how I viewed God. I have struggled hard with certain theological views on God that have limited my desire to pursue Him simply because He just seemed so elusive. The reality was, I was walking with my head up my butt.

Realization 1: God is not a puppy dog that just waits for you to play with Him.

My sister and I have a dog named Chase. Anytime he hears the words "Let's go" or "Vamonos" (because I taught him a little Spanish), his ears perk up and he gets really excited. He moves in a way that is very cautious of your movements so that he isn't left behind and usually waits in front of the door as you make your ways towards it.
Often, I think this is how I viewed God: a pathetic, but adorable puppy that got excited at the chance to go out with me. This led me to have a prayer life what was centered around my comfort, a social life that came before knowing God, and a view of God that diminished Him to be the lucky one in this relationship. Of course, through my words and my regular Sunday attendance, no one could tell, but all the signs pointed to my low view of God. The fact that I scheduled God in last, after I scheduled everything else in reveals the place He really takes in my life.
I can't blame anyone because we are all busy, but if it is true that to those we love, we prioritize our time and arrange our schedule, then I don't think we really have any excuses. Sometimes, we need to put our business aside or get up a little earlier or say no to hanging out with our friends to approach God.
God isn't a needy puppy, instead He is the king. He is the Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Barack Obama, Prince William, Nelson Mandela, Michael Jordan, Kim Yuna, Beatles, Brad Pitt, all combined and an infinite times more. There are people I know that in order to have an attendance with, require that we completely change our schedules, dress appropriately, and learn proper protocol for. Approach the Queen of England and you are given a list of things you can and cannot do and say. People take this very seriously and consider it a huge honor to approach her. The same goes for our legal system. We cannot display any contempt in court or speak out of line without risking penalty. There is a deep reverence and respect for the person sitting behind the throne or the bench. The thing is, we have a God whom requires great fear and commands great awe, but allows us to approach Him as a friend. This, I find amazing in so many ways. The God of the universe calls us His friend.

Realization 2: God doesn't play hide and seek.
When you walk along the city streets of New York, most people are busy staring either at the ground beneath them or at their Blackberries and iPhones. I feel like we walk like this in our faith as well. After walking like this for a while, we begin to wonder where God is. We get caught up with our every movement and at getting to the next destination as quickly as possible, that we begin to peek down alleys and into dark corners because we don't see God as we are moving rapidly around the city. We search the bars, the taverns, the restaurants, and the tiny apartments that people pay ridiculous amounts of money for and we search for God in our busyness. We often times don't feel his love in circumstances where we are too busy for Him.
Then we decide to enjoy the stroll. One day, we realize that everything isn't that serious and that we can still do a great job without being stressed about the million pieces that need to come together. We begin to understand that we can only do what we are able to do and that the rest will have to take care of itself or we will trust that our wisdom and experiences can extinguish any fires that pop up. Once we do that, we release the tension in our shoulders and start walking with our heads up to notice all the unique architecture around the city - a great metaphor for God and His love in our lives.
The buildings around New York are close together and massive. Because we are so focused on getting to our next destination, we can't keep our eyes off the ground and in order to find God, we are only able to peek through the alleys. However, once we let go, we can realize that God is greater than our circumstances and that His love will cover us regardless of what bad things happen in our lives. As you admire one building, you turn a corner to see another. Walk past that building and you find another one of great magnificence. The love of God is not hidden in corners, but looming over you in ways you would've never imagined before. It isn't sparse, but abundant in every way. He is always there and it just takes a little bit of letting go and looking up to realize it.

This God, whose love is overwhelming is constantly drawing me into Him. The days are going by quickly and I am excited as each day ends. My interactions with people seem to be bearing great fruit and I've never enjoyed people as much as I do now in my life. He doesn't hide from us, but calls us from the rooftops and just tells us to look up. He says to know that His infinite bigness will cover us with eternal protection, approval, confidence, and satisfaction. There is none like Him and by simply believing in His love for us through the crucifixion and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ, brings us all into a love relationship with Him that is oh so sweet!

God is good!

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