Two Hands: Grief and Gratitude in the Christian LifeSabbath Keeping FastingA Renewed SpiritualityNurturing Hope: Christian Pastoral Care in the Twenty-First CenturyThe Power of ListeningJoy Together: Spiritual Practices for Your CongregationPersonality Type in CongregationsPrayers of the Old TestamentPrayers of the New TestamentSabbathFriendingA Garden of Living Water: Stories of Self-Discovery and Spiritual GrowthDeath in Dunedin: A NovelDead Sea: A NovelDeadly Murmurs: A NovelBeating Burnout in CongregationsReaching Out in a Networked WorldEmbracing MidlifeAdvent DevotionalDraw Near: Lenten Devotional by Lynne Baab, illustrated by Dave Baab

Receptivity and offering: The journey

Lynne Baab • Wednesday April 20 2022

Receptivity and offering: The journey

I read, then re-read, a dialog a friend posted on Facebook. The author, John Roedel, wrote a book called Hey God. Hey John. What Happens When God Writes Back.This dialog between Roedel and God reminded me how often I focus on results rather than the journey, and how deeply I want the results to be good. Right now.

As I remember Jesus' resurrection and as I try to live in in the joy that he is alive and real and with me, I want to offer to Jesus my willingness to look for his hand in the journey of my life. I want to offer my willingness to let the journey be messy, uncomfortable, and incomplete. I want to offer to God my honesty about how difficult it is for me to affirm the value of a messy, uncomfortable and incomplete journey.

Here’s Roedel’s dialog:

Me: Hey God.
God: Hello.....
Me: I'm falling apart. Can you put me back together?
God: I would rather not.
Me: Why?
God: Because you aren't a puzzle.
Me: What about all of the pieces of my life that are falling down onto the ground?
God: Let them stay there for a while. They fell off for a reason. Take some time and decide if you need any of those pieces back.
Me: You don't understand! I'm breaking down!
God: No, you don't understand. You are breaking through. What you are feeling are just growing pains. You are shedding the things and the people in your life that are holding you back. You aren't falling apart. You are falling into place. Relax. Take some deep breaths and allow those things you don't need any more to fall off of you. Quit holding onto the pieces that don't fit you anymore. Let them fall off. Let them go.
Me: Once I start doing that, what will be left of me?
God: Only the very best pieces of you.
Me: I'm scared of changing.
God: I keep telling you —YOU AREN'T CHANGING!! YOU ARE BECOMING!
Me: Becoming who?
God: Becoming who I created you to be! A person of light and love and charity and hope and courage and joy and mercy and grace and compassion. I made you for more than the shallow pieces you have decided to adorn yourself with that you cling to with such greed and fear. Let those things fall off of you. I love you! . . . Become! Become! Become who I made you to be. I'm going to keep telling you this until you remember it.
Me: There goes another piece.
God: Yep. Let it be.
Me: So . . . I'm not broken?
God: Of course Not! —but you are breaking like the dawn. It's a new day. Become!!!

When I feel frustrated about the messiness of the journey of life, I want to remember Roedel’s words, attributed to God, who wants me to become “who I created you to be. A person of light and love and charity and hope and courage and joy and mercy and grace and compassion.” I want to remember that the frustrations of an incomplete and uncomfortable journey drive me back into God’s presence, over and over, begging for help and doing my best to walk with Jesus and rely on the guidance, wisdom and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. That connection with the God who made me and redeemed me enables God’s transformation of me into that “person of light and love and charity and hope and courage and joy and mercy and grace and compassion.”

This acceptance of messiness and willingness to draw near to God over and over is really hard, in part because so many of us are so tired these days (as I wrote about three weeks ago). I do want to live in the light of the dawn, so today I choose to offer to God my willingness to continue on the journey.

(Next week: My presence. Illustration by Dave Baab: walking/biking path beside Lake Washington in South Seattle. I love getting new subscribers. Sign up below to get an email when I post on this blog.)

Some previous blog posts about journey:

Next post »« Previous post