I was thinking I should explain the title of my blog, Talkin’ with God. I know non-believers have a good time when someone says they "hear God". They grin and roll their eyes. It's especially bad when a televangelist says, “God told me X” where X usually is some form of asking you, the unwashed and unsaved, to send in large donations “for the Lawd” to build a new radio station or college building. I grin and roll my eyes at those too.
But I do talk with God on a regular basis. And He talks with me. He has not asked me to ask you to send in a donation to help keep this blog going. Yet. But then again, it’s free!
What He has told me, through various ways—music, dreams, prayer-visions, other believers—is usually an answer, to a direct question or one I wasn’t even aware I was asking until He provided the answer.
Once, while praying with head down and eyes closed, I became aware mid-prayer of a picture in front of my mind’s eye. (That’s how most of my prayer-visions happen: I’ll be subconsciously looking at the vision for a few heartbeats before I realize it's even there and think “wait, what’s this picture?”)
This vision was a white tree-stump, maybe 3-feet across and cut off about a foot tall, a few exposed hips of roots disappearing into the ground. It was as if the tree was bleached white, to where even the age rings were just barely visible. The picture was still, like a photograph, but as I became aware of it, a branch of brown grew out of the side and green leaves sprouted. As the leaves unfurled, I heard, in my own internal voice but not “generated” by me, the words, “You think you have reached the end, but I have a new direction for you.”
At the time, our homechurch was going through some turmoil, with one family cutting ties and leaving us with hurt feelings and confusion. At the time, I believed the vision was in regards to that situation. But after awhile, I realized God was talking directly to me. And maybe to everyone in our church, through me.
What new direction did He have for me? The only answer I have is “deeper”, like the roots of the tree disappearing into the ground. As in my relationship with Him. In the two or three years since that vision, I have learned more about me and my status in the world then I learned in the first 40+ years.
What is my status? Most importantly, I am a beloved son of God. And that is something I did not know even after nearly four decades of living (and being a superficial Believer). At the least, I am a fool, trying to make my way in a world that makes less and less sense every single day.
The truth is, with each sunrise, my mind is boggled anew at the utter insanity of humans. Should I try to fix things? Should I even keep abreast of human events? (My wife says no!) What about my son? What kind of world am I leaving for him and his children? Shouldn’t I make a stand for him?
As a child of God, I have the exquisite gift of not needing to make sense of this crazy world. It is temporary. It is irrelevant. It is a scenic (and scary) overlook on my journey to Jesus. I just need to remember to look to Jesus instead of the world when things get crazy. And when things get beautiful. And when things are just…things.
As for my son, the most important stand I can make and the best gift I can give him is this lesson: If God tells you to go deeper, go deeper.
I have asked God how deep (it was the fool in me), but He hasn’t answered that question yet. I must not be there yet!