Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bad Blogging, Questionable Driving, and God's Good Love

I’m a bad blogger.

It seems to me, in order to be a good blogger, one must occasionally blog.  I do the ‘occasionally’ very well, but I think sometimes it’s a bit too ‘occasional’.  I should write more.

And not so much from a desire to be read (which I admit it is fun to think someone is reading my little diatribes) but from a desire to get the thoughts swirling around in my head down on paper in some coherent form so that I can reference them in the future.

Have you even been driving down the freeway, or walking down the street, or sitting in the backyard watching the grass grow…. and had some wonderful thought occur to you? Suddenly some idea you’ve been toying around with, or some concept you’ve been tinkering with, or some idea you’ve been trying to articulate, just solidifies and coalesces into clarity.

 You sit in wonder at the moment, at how this thought which has been just out of reach for so long is now, in the moment, so near and clear, and it makes so much sense!

Then, just as quickly, the thought slips out of your grasp, back into the dim corners where uncompleted ideas lurk, floating back and forth through the fog of uncertainty. 


I go through this time and time again, especially when I’m driving to work in the morning. 

Drive time has become my quiet time.  I spend quite a bit of time in the car, so I’ve decided to make use of the time.  I figure, just because I’m driving doesn’t mean I can’t talk to God, listen to podcast sermons, sing and pray.  I do a lot of thinking while I’m driving, and often, when I’m talking to God (funny thing is, inside the confines of my car when I’m alone, I can actually talk out loud to God, which I find kinda cool, like having an actual conversation, not just a ‘prayer’) God seems to actually talk back to me. 

Uh huh.  I said it.
And I mean it.
And I’m not on any medications.
Nor am I delusional.
I hope.

It’s during these times that I find myself truly exploring my own heart, and listening for God to speak.  Usually what happens is, as I’m struggling within myself to clarify a thought or idea, and I’m asking God, the Holy Spirit, to help me clarify it, I find myself in sort of a 2-way dialogue with myself.  

At this point I refer back to my previous assertion that I’m not delusional, and ask you to bear with me.

As I dialogue with myself, I find that new thoughts occasionally occur to me, which I’m certain are the Holy Spirit’s influence on my heart and mind.  It’s subtle, gentle, and very quiet, but it’s there.  I’ve actually caught myself in mid-sentence, making an argument for some idea or position I’ve been thinking about, and suddenly a thought regarding a different point of view pops into mind.  And I have to stop, consider this new point of view (wherever it came from) and either accept it or argue against it. 

Debating is never more fun that when you debate yourself, especially if somehow you don’t know what your own answer is going to be when you ask a question.

Jesus did say don’t let your right hand know what your left hand is doing, didn’t he?  Perhaps that applies here or not, but I still think it’s interesting to think about. 

I need to get some more coffee while I digest my last comment.
I think maybe I should switch to decaf?

So, I have many thoughts and ideas swirling around in my mind, that focus in and out of clarity, that tease me with understanding just to flitter away back to the fog of uncertainty.  Occasionally they rise from the fog, and I try to grasp them and wrestle them to the ground so that I can capture them and make them a coherent part of my psyche.  Too often, I lose that wrestling match because I have to stop wrestling and get on with life.  I can’t just sit and think all day.  Life must go on, and the drive to work is only about 25 minutes long. 

So I take to writing every so often, which helps me to wrestle with the thoughts, and gives me more time to work things out.  It also helps solidify the ideas because I can go back and reference whatever epiphany it was that brought sudden clarity in the past, and proclaim a hearty “Ah ha!” of understanding all over again.

Which brings me to my idea, thought, or concept of the day – God’s Immeasurable, Unfathomable, Outrageous, Scandalous, Perplexing, Counter-Intuitive, Universe-Spanning, Personal, Intimate, Creative, Sacrificial, Magnificent, Joyous, Ever-Present, All-Encompassing Love.

I have no idea, at this point, how to convey the thoughts and feelings on this subject that run through my veins at this point in my life.  I’ll give random train of thought a try though.

I have been consumed of late with the concept of how much God loves this creation, universe, solar system, planet, animals, plants, bugs, snakes, fish, mosquitos, birds, rocks,  mountains, and every single solitary person that is now, or has ever existed.   God’s love is beyond charity, beyond kindness, and beyond caring. God’s love, for all of everything, is ultimate.

God IS love, and can be, can exist, can act, can do things, no other way. 

This is not to say God is limited in any way, by no means. 

This means simply that love is God in the essence -  much as God said “I Am”, to proclaim he is above, over, outside the subset that is Creation, God is All because through God all things exist and have their being, “I Am” is actually a very simple statement of God’s nature.  God simply “Is”, and I’ve become convinced that the “Is” of God is love. 

Creation itself is an outrageous, magnificent, perplexing and unfathomable act of love.  Without being created, nothing would exist to be loved by God, nor would anything exist that could love God. Creation itself is God’s masterpiece, God’s Opus, of love. 

And sometimes, when that thought about God’s love, about the depth and scale of that love coalesces in my brain, when I manage get a finger hold on just the very edge of how magnificent and wondrous and holy that love is, I have to admit it brings me to my knees.  That’s because I realize, in all this creation, considering all the things that God has to be concerned with, with the scope and scale of creation and the universe and all the things that God loves, God not only sees me and considers me and loves me, but God loves me to the fullest extent that God can love.  

God’s love for me – and for you – is ultimate.
There is no other way for God to love, because love is what God is.
There is no way for God to love me less or more than God does right now.
Or did yesterday.
Or will tomorrow.
Because God IS love, and that’s the only way God can love.

There is no ‘more or less’ with God’s love. 

God’s love just ‘is’, and that ‘is’ is a full-on, complete, total, absolute, never-ending, never-ceasing, always-flowing, 100-percent –full love.

From this complete, perfect, absolute love flows everything we know about God, and everything that God has ever done in creation.  God displays this love throughout all creation, at all times, every day. 

Even right now, dear reader, you are seeing God’s magnificent love at work in creation. 

You are most likely looking at a computer screen of some kind, with the created photons of light impacting the nerves at the back of your created eyes, sending chemical and electrical impulse to your created brain.  In an as yet unfathomable and magnificent feat of Godly engineering, your brain somehow orders these impulses into a recognizable pattern that another part of that same brain is able to interpret as language, so that I can communicate this thought to you in this marvelous, amazing manner. 

God’s love displayed in God’s marvelous creation. 

The beauty of the engineering and the scope of the construct speak volumes about God and God’s nature, and God’s love for me.

And you.

As Paul says in Romans 1, “…what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made…”

My challenge has been to consider God’s love, and let that change my life.  I ask you, consider just how large, how extensive, how “all” is God’s love for yourself, and let that realization change your life, too. 

I’ll write another day about just exactly what God is doing and changing in my life, but at least I got THIS one thought down on paper – I mean in digital storage made to approximate the appearance of paper when displayed on a computer screen - today!