Prayer

I’m feeling a little scattered right now, not because I don’t have anything to write about, but because I have too much.

Those of you who know me well know that I go through phases with my faith. God teaches me one thing, and just when I think I’ve got a handle on it, he breaks me completely apart.

Because only then am I ready to learn the next thing he has to teach me. And every time he does that, I feel as though I’ve lost my equilibrium. The world suddenly seems upside-down for awhile; then, just as I feel like I’m seeing straight, he does it again.

I wouldn’t say I’ve gotten used to it, but it’s starting to become a cycle that I almost enjoy. I used to think that every time it happened I was losing my faith, or that I had failed God in some way – when in fact, the opposite was happening.

I just didn’t recognize it for what it was: God bringing us closer together. God teaching me who he really is, and who I really am. He would know; after all, he created me.

I’ve also realized that nobody can tell God and me how to do this, how to naturally develop our relationship. For years I listened to people tell me how much of the Bible to read per day (or what part), or how much time to spend in complete solitude with him, or how to journal.

But the truth is that each individual believer is exactly that – an individual believer. If we truly believe that God created us in his own image and that he also created us in an infinite variety, how can we believe that every person will interact with him in exactly the same way?

In fact, one-size-fits-all interaction with God makes no sense at all. Well intentioned people in the church inflict damage when they try to put a set of parameters around how other people should worship or pray.

Understand, I’m not talking about doctrine here, or who God is. Those things just are, and will not change on our whim.  I’m talking about how each one of us interacts with God. For example, a person who loves the outdoors will want to go there to talk with God; in fact, God may intentionally attract her or him to nature for that purpose. It’s how he made that person.

To tell that particular person they must go curl up in their room with a journal and shut the door is effectively telling them that they must circumvent their natural avenue to the creator of the universe to satisfy some human standards.

I have to say it again: to tell another person how they must interact with God is inflicting damage on their person.

So don’t do that.

Now, I’ve written and rewritten the next part, and finally come to the conclusion that the above is all I really want to say on the subject for now. I’ll probably come back to it, but I don’t really want to end with any more advice.

After all, I’m still in process myself. I’m starting to get a handle on what God is teaching me right now, and I’m sure that soon he’ll turn the world sideways again.

Well, that’s alright. It’s the way we work.

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