Monday, January 25, 2010

The Conversation

In my previous post about the Bible I referred to the realization that as I read scripture, I am listening in on other peoples conversations with God. Mulling over that further, I see that the most worthwhile time of my life is in my own conversation with my Father. Is this rank (and insidious) individualism on my part? But I am, as are most of you, if you'll admit it, an individualist at heart, and I must just deal with it and be what I am.

The Conversation starts with birth. I am put into the world as a new (or pre-existent; it matters not) soul, unaware of any prior contact with my creator, and what I know, I know by observation of others, especially family members. I am taken to church, I told Bible stories, I am led to pray. (This is my story-- there are many who haven't had the same advantages.)

Somewhere along the line I realize that it's not just all one sided. God didn't just speak way back when and now we speak forever into the void as a response. Rather we talk now and he listens, and then he talks and we listen. Or at least that would be the ideal. What's sometimes closer to the truth is we rant and he listens and then he whispers sense to us and we shut him out. The disconnect in the conversation would seem to be our tendency to do the 'la la la I can't hear you' thing. That is why there's a need for the Bible. And a need for the larger Church. Whatever faults there are in the Church and whatever difficulties in the way some people approach the Bible, the alternative lack of either or both is unacceptable. We need reminders, we need to listen in, to be invited to listen in on the other conversations going on around us. God gets through, so to speak, with at least some of the people, much of the time. And the spill over from those conversations, we can't do without. (Even my cherished individualism will fail me at times!)

But as time goes on and I learn not to shut him out, some of what he says and some of what I say to him is private. This is a special moment for anyone to reach. The idea of sharing a unique and special secret with the God of All the Universe is intoxicating beyond belief. If you need an upgrade in your self-image, try living here. If God values you and considers you trustworthy with his secrets, nothing can trump that, if you truly believe it.

Anyhow, this is my pilgrimage, and every so often, I promise that I will move out of my ornery space and just show up as a pilgrim...


  1. when you say we need "the church," it is to me like it was to you when you read "God’s Word"

    i hear meanings and understandings implicit in the word "church" - "body of christ" is less loaded for me and is needed i agree

    but maybe they are the same to you

  2. sorry - that was way off topic...

    the listened into conversations, were mostly with individuals, even when they would directed to a group, god usually funneled it through one - why wouldn't he continue like that


    i'm not sure i agree that we couldn't be experiencing as full and as intoxicating an experience with god, with no knowledge of the bible, or of the rest of the body of christ - just us and him...

    not saying i fully disagree - just saying i'm not as convinced as you