the last 6 months of unemployment have allowed me time to read -- and read i have. everything i could get my hands on regarding spirituality. almost all of bill johnson's and kris valloton's books, along with the shack, he loves me, so u don't want to go to church anymore, the wounded healer, and various other books. my relationship with daddy god is being redefined -- in a good way -- but its frustrating my relationships with my two churches.
currently i'm reading pagan christianity by frank viola. this book is making me angry. i suppose that might not have been the intended reaction the author expected -- but that's what its producing in me. its like when i was reading 1 and 2 kings -- i got so mad at the kings that weren't listening to what god was saying that i had to stop reading. it was that frustrating to me.
i'm not going to stop reading this book. and i've been given the companion book to read which, i've been assured, will calm me down where the anger is seething. i surely hope so. with each new chapter in this book i think to myself -- how did we get to this place of passive acceptance that this is truly the kind of "church" that daddy god wanted.
i'm just as much to blame as the next guy -- raising the pastor to some level of holiness akin to jesus -- sitting there listening every sunday -- being spoonfed and figuring that they knew better than what i was feeling in my heart because they were -- after all -- pastors -- gone to college and all that. that what i was feeling couldn't possibly be right because if it was -- wouldn't everybody be feeling it and wanting it and begging for it???
but now i go back to my original question. would it have been better to continue to be in that place of comfortable uncomfortableness and not to know what i know. to go on listening each sunday morning and thinking -- ok, this must be it, i don't really feel anything, but certainly this must be it. because now i have this knowledge -- and like someone once said -- a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing -- and here i am -- feeling still like i'm a nobody and a no-nothing (at least to the outside world -- to daddy god i know i am everything), and who would listen to the likes of me. but here's the reality -- if i don't say it -- then i'm just as big a schmuck as all of the others who knew and said nothing. and that makes it much worse.
someone who prophesied over me recently said that i don't fit into any of the boxes that ppl want to put me in -- that i tend to want to squirm out of them. hey --i wanted to be like everybody else -- i wanted to sit there and be passive and be spoonfed and feel just like everybody else and not be "abnormal". but it never felt right -- it always felt wrong and stifled and not really what daddy wanted. but i didn't think there might be something in what i was feeling -- i just figured i was being abnormal and needed to straighten up and fly right (like my father used to say).
so now i find myself in the position of knowing that its not what daddy wanted for sure (thanks frank), and feeling like others need to know this so that they can step out of their boxed religion and come to relationship with daddy -- the kind of relationship he wants. but its gonna make me unpopular and "abnormal" and gosh darn it -- i still want to be normal. whatever normal is. but its like if i don't say it -- then there is something wrong with me and if i do say it -- there is something wrong with me. in any case, i can't get the feeling i want -- which is acceptance. but then i need to stop looking to man for acceptance -- and look only to daddy god.
ok -- so here it is -- and accept it or don't -- judge me or don't -- and if u judge me -- don't tell me -- coz i really don't wanna know.
god doesn't want us to sit in passive acceptance -- he wants us to be active participants. get up -- ask a question if u don't understand -- speak a word if god gives it to u -- feel free to pray for the person next to or in front of u -- or the pastor even, lay hands on someone if daddy tells u to. do it -- its part of being in community with each other -- we're having yada -- intercourse -- whatever u want to call it -- we're in relationship with each other. take hold of that -- and know that that is what daddy wants with us as well -- relationship, yada, communication. he wants u to come to him all the time -- and tell him what is going on in ur life -- not just the bad stuff and when u need help -- but he wants u to know that he's with u always -- every day. just talk to him -- coz he's there in the room, with u.
a lot of fuss is made about having the "right words" when u talk to him or pray -- but really he doesn't care about that because he already knows what's in ur heart -- he just wants u to talk to him -- to know that he loves u more than anything else -- that ur his precious child. so just talk to him. and listen for his voice -- and it might not come in the form of a real voice -- but it might come in the form of a passage read in a book, or a conversation with a friend who offers up just what u need to hear, or the billboard u pass on the way to work, or the person in the next aisle over at the grocery store (as bill johnson says). look for his answers everywhere. and don't worry about having the right words -- because in god's eyes ur words r right because they come from ur heart -- no matter how they come out.
and if something in church bothers u -- speak up -- don't be passive about it -- speak up -- because if its heavy on ur heart, it could be that daddy put it there for a reason. and don't feel shy about praying about something that doesn't feel right to u either. stuff was happening at my morning church and god said, "stay and pray". i wasn't sure what i should be praying for -- but god gave me words.
don't let the fear of ridicule hold u back -- like it does with me -- let it out. god didn't want us to be "lead" around by one person -- he wanted us to become community -- to come to each other and give guidance and accept advice and help from each other. its not a one person doing all the work or all the teaching. its all of us teaching each other.
i used to wonder y god put someone in my life who was 30 years younger than i was but who knew so much more spiritually than i did -- who often frustrated the heck out of me -- but now i understand -- he was showing me that teaching can come from everyone -- even those younger than our selves. he was showing me that i needed to be able to see that in everyone -- not just the "elders" or the pastor. it started me on a path of searching every day for god's ways -- not man's ways -- and not to passively sit by and accept man's ways -- but to squirm out of that box and see what daddy really wanted. for that gift -- i will be eternally grateful.
so here is it -- i'm not normal -- and i don't care. i want to squirm and wiggle and be out of the box. i want to be what daddy god wants me to be and not so much what man wants. and there is so much more to being with daddy than sitting in church one day a week and listening. there is so much more to feel from daddy than anger and judgement and disappointment in our behavior -- we need to feel his love -- his great big generous overpowering love. and if ur not feeling it -- then u need to find a way to him -- keep searching, keep asking questions, keep delving deeper into what he wants. because what he really wants from us is to be in relationship with him. he wants to be ur loving daddy.... so let him....
he is holding u -- not just by ur hand -- he is holding all of u -- accept the embrace