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About the Busy God

244px-messier-42-10-12-2004-filtered-e1401834586474 Over the past several months… off and on for a couple years, now… I have found the Lord capturing my mind, my prayer times, by one or another single word. A single concept that He seems to draw me into with such intensity and clarity that it’s as if He were “teaching class” to a student body of one alone. And upon return to the here-and-now of IRL (in-real-life), the experience of this time just changes everything, changes perspective, changes the standpoint from which I live.

One of these words has been “Infinite”. Another has been “Kingdom”. Another, “Beauty”.

For just a moment, I’d like to look at “Infinite” with you, and see if sometime you, too, will ride out to this wondrous zone where we can experience what we cannot possibly comprehend or certainly explain. Our “prayer maps” should include a border warning that says… “Caution: Beyond here there be Mysteries”… knowing that while we may get there, while we may experience them and survive, upon return our most sublime words will sound like incoherent babblings.

Let us start with an obvious proposition as we consider “Big”… Let’s look at Douglas Adams’ statement in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, that “Space is really big”.

Now, let’s try a thought experiment for just a moment: Think… “Infinite”… and “Big”. And then “Infinitely Big”. Just let your mind move to the Cosmos, and just keep expanding with the universe, and imagine all of that INSIDE GOD… no matter how far or how long you go outward. The mind will tend to numb fairly shortly, and that’s good.

But wait! There’s more! Now, think… “Infinite”… and “Small”. And then “Infinitely Small”. And let your mind move downwards in size, from Planets, and Stuff, and Mountains, to Hills, to Mounds, to Boulders, to Rocks, to Stones, to Pebbles, to Sand, to Grains, to Crystals, to Molecules, to Atoms, to Protons, to Electrons, to all those little oddly-named particle-wavy things we don’t know what they are, but they help hold everything together bits… and realize that God is on an intimate first-name basis with the smallest conceivable bit of reality that you can imagine! (And more than that…)

But wait! Let’s look at this another way! We’ve only been thinking of “space”… big and small. What about TIME?

When one is Infinite… how long is “a long time”? I mean, really… we think about the history of man, or the history of life, or the history of the planet we ride. And the mind boggles. But when we think of that against a backdrop of “Eternity”… really “Infinite Time”… that’s but an eyeblink. There is “no time” that applies to the Eternal. And, again, that goes the other way as well! How quick is “too fast” for the Infinite Eternal? I mean, a decision, a thought, an action, a movement, whether hours, seconds, nanoseconds… God can enter into any scale of time at all, even the pause between thoughts, decisions, aspirations in our own hearts and minds… as though they were separated by stops and starts.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Now, I’ve said all of that in about 500 words. And yet, I can assure you, God has patiently worked with me on those things time and time again over a couple of years. The implications of the Eternal Infinite God are a mine of jewels that can never be adequately plumbed or exhausted. Why? Because while WE are limited in myriad ways… He is not. While WE have boundaries and edges… HE does not. We, as human beings, use religion to find “the rules”, the “definitions”, the “theologies” that will adequately describe, contain, and constrain Him. While HE simply “IS”.

I invite you to enter this ponder at your own pace, in your own way…

And, as far as a “practical application” for the “take away” to this post…

How many times have we prayed, or we hear someone else pray, “Dear Lord, I know You are really busy running the Universe and all. And I know that I’m just a simple nobody (or simple child) here with this little piddling problem. I know I don’t deserve Your time or attention, and I don’t mean to interrupt or bother You… but… if You don’t mind very much… I have this need/problem/concern/want that I’d like to pray for. So, if it’s OK with You, please…” whatever… “Amen”

So many think God has so much “important stuff” going on, and that we just barely rise to the level of His patient tolerance. We hear preachers tell us that He seeks true intimacy, that He desires nothing more than our company, that He is always there for us and to “pray always”. But we’ve grown up in a world, in relationships, in families… with “limited attention and time”… with “time management issues”… where we have to compete or excel to merit attention, praise, or companionship.

What is my heart’s desire that you “take away” from this post?

An Infinite Eternal God has MORE than “all the time in the world”, and “all the attention in the world” to lavish on His children. When you seek Him out, when you speak with Him, when you share your concerns (big or little, important or piddling) with Him… He ATTENDS! He is fully, totally, infinitely PRESENT in every single moment (long or short) that you spend with Him. (Truth be told, He is present in each moment that you breathe and live, whether you attend to Him or not.)

So… live in the “As If”… world. “As if He really loves you. As if He is really there. As if He is really listening, responding, and attending to your every need and your wholeness and wellness.”

Because, whether we know it or not, whether we acknowledge it or not… this is what it means to be Eternally Infinite God… and so He IS.

Grace to you, Gentle Reader!

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Posted by on August 24, 2016 in Sermon Seeds, Uncategorized

 

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Never Too Busy

telephoneI have just wakened from a delightful dream, and it led me to an even more delightful realization, and this needed to be shared.

My dream was of a very busy, very responsible, very wonderful friend. Over the years they have graced me with much of their time, guidance, teaching, and regard. Nowadays, they are very busy, very responsible, doing many things, have moved into some directions different from my own… and, while I am yet welcome to communicate with them, they choose not to respond. This is sad, but understandable. They have many important things to deal with constantly, and I can manage things on my own just fine. So, yet I communicate, but without response. I rather think of it like being dead. From my side of the relationship, they live. From their side, I am dead. And, I endeavor to be as courteous and considerate a corpse as I can. I figure we will have eternity to “catch up”, so no harm, no foul.

But this dream was so simple. My friend called me, and simply stayed on the line as many hours of my day went past. It was, of course, quite strange… but time and again, someone would need my attention, distract me from the call, I would deal with their need, then return to the phone to say.. “Are you there?”, simply to hear, “Yes, I’m still here. Let’s go on.” And there would be such joy in my heart! It was wondrous.

When I woke, I was still caught in a cloud of great joy. I gathered that my friend was well. I knew the Lord had done a “connection thing” as so often He does, and that was fabulous. And beyond all else I was again reminded of the Oneness, the Communion, that is the Church and the Family of Christ. We are all One, always… never truly apart… the Communion of Saints as our liturgical brethren put it… Church Triumphant, Church Militant, Church Suffering.

But what was so heart warming wasn’t WORDS. It wasn’t conversation, particularly. It was PRESENCE. It was what is coming to be called “mindfulness” in the literature nowadays. Simply the regard in which, the respect for one another, of people. (I’ve said elsewhere, the two fundamental needs I find people have are the need for significance, and the security of love from isolation and abandonment. “To be treasured” is the phrase I find that covers both, and utterly describes what God holds towards man, and what we seem to hunger for from Him and from one another.) Anyway, I woke feeling satisfied, filled, joyful, peaceful… and God rode the crest of this wave to another place… where I needed to invite you.

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I realized… (and I know, it’s kind of embarrassing to say stuff I know we all already know… but anyway…) I realized that we have this CONSTANT open line with GOD… and He’s NEVER so busy that we hear, “Well, I’ll get back to you later!”

Isn’t that astonishing?

I mean, REALLY?

God… TREASURES… you and me…

Individually!

It’s one of those “Infinite” things… that He’s NEVER too busy for us. He not only “has all the time in the world”, but He has it an infinite number of times over. To turn to Him, to talk to Him, even to COMPLAIN at Him (cf. Psalms)… is never a waste of His time. Simply to be looking His way, talking His way, thinking His direction, is to engage the fullness of Him in marvelous ways. How important does that make you? Is a measure of the degree to which we are “treasured” by another… the extent to which they will relate to us? engage with us?

Do you ever find yourself rolling your eyes and drumming your fingers when someone on the phone is “wasting your time”, and you are ready to tell them “you’ll let them know?” So.. like… what about God? Do you ever think He rolls His eyes, drums His fingers? I’ve heard people tell me they always feel like apologizing when they pray, or that they only pray about “important things”, because God has to be so dreadfully busy running the universe and all that… who do they think THEY are to imagine that He gives a rip about their piddledy pooh problems? This always makes me shake my head, but I can’t always find words the person can relate to, to help them imagine how far their fears are from the depth and breadth of God’s heart of love for them! He WAITS on their attention, if they can imagine that! All too often, they cannot.

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I have two grandchildren. One is seven, the other five. In recent months they have begun to ask to call me on the phone. These calls delight me. These are precious and important to me. For the seven year old, it is usually about some challenge either overcome or not, and wanting to share with me the experience. The five year old? To be honest, the Mom still has to translate for me a great deal.

Is their “conversation” profound or important?
I suppose not, as the world sees things.

Are they a “waste of my time”?
I suppose, as the world sees things.

Should I decline to take their calls, or rush off the phone to do more important things?
I suppose, as the world sees things.

But… not as *I* see things. No! Why? Not because of their significance or importance in and of themselves… but because of the relationship between us, between them and me.

Their Calls Are Important… because I Treasure THEM! They are precious to me, and I hold them dear to my heart.

And so God does with me.

And so God does with you. God TREASURES you, and delights in the time you attend to Him!

Isn’t that Awesome!?

Grace to you! — The Little Monk

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2014 in Quiet Time, Sermon Seeds, Uncategorized

 

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