Perceived Distance

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If we really believe in God…

If we really believe in God… this statement has been on my mind a lot lately. I’ve been turning it over and examining it from all different angles. I think because I am finding myself frustrated.

I guess before I go any further I should explain something about myself. I am usually an all-in or nothing and by nothing I mean all-in everyday all day all the time type of person. Take cleaning the house for example. I get so frustrated because when I start cleaning I can’t stop…EVERYTHING needs cleaned. I will start in the corner of the kitchen (my favorite place to start cleaning because I can look at the whole house and work my way out…it’s weird, I know) and before I know it I am vacuuming bedrooms, organizing drawers, purging stuff all in one sitting. I went from “I should do the dishes” to “obsessive-compulsive” in no time flat.

They tell me this is a strength. They being Strength Finders and the strength being my strong sense of belief which I am guessing makes me a wacko sometimes, not my cleaning…although I feel I am pretty bomb at cleaning. Belief. It is my number one strength according to this test. I still remember our staff meeting when we had to discuss our findings. I hollered pretty loud about how irritated I was that I got belief. I didn’t (and sometimes still don’t) believe it is really a strength. In my mind, EVERYBODY should have this “strength” and if you believe something you should DO IT 100% NO EXCUSES…DO IT DO IT DO IT! See, wacko…just ask my husband, he has to live with me.

Second thing you should know about me: I can be dramatic. Third thing you should know about me: I am 2.5 seconds away from buying a huge sign for my friend Debbie and myself that reads, “If everybody thought like we did the world would be a better place.” This has seriously become my mantra in weeks of late. But I am getting so off topic.

I have this strong sense of belief which obviously then it carries over to my faith. Couple that with the fact that I am obsessive compulsive about things and that I don’t think belief is necessarily a strength that should be particular to me and I am finding myself frustrated.

I find myself frustrated because I have this thought: If we really believe in God…

– Why do we live like He doesn’t exist?

-Why do we make certain decisions for our lives (that clearly go against everything God is and stands for) and assume God is happy for us?

-Why do we blame Him for circumstances/situations when the essence of who God is is love?

I could keep going. I have a whole list of If we really believe in God then why…I don’t really want to get into it because it gets me wound up. I more wanted to get to the point that I think we sometimes live our lives separate from our beliefs. We somehow have compartmentalized our lives and our faith because if we really believed then why are we xyz?

As was mulling all of this over, I had a new thought. My dear Grandmother gave me a book over Thanksgiving called Pleasure of His Company by Dutch Sheets. Can we take a moment to talk about how cool his name is? Dutch Sheets. Classic. Think of all the fun his parents could have. Egyptian Cotton Sheets. Silk Sheets. FLANNEL SHEETS IN THE WINTER TIME ARE PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE, KRIS. I digress I have been reading a chapter each day and taking time to remind myself that God loves my company. In the second chapter Sheets writes about God, “Perceived as distant, He is often ignored.”

This was my new thought. “Perceived as distant, He is often ignored.” How true of a statement. Maybe the beginning of my question, “If we really believe in God…” starts with defining who we know God to be. Perhaps the God we believe in is a God who we perceive as distant. Of course if we believe our God is a distant God we will ignore him, but we also fend for ourselves, we make our own decisions, we blame Him for xyz.

There have been times in my life that I have lived as though God was distant, but the truth of the matter is this is not so.

Mark 1:15 “The kingdom of God is near…”

Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted…”

Psalm 145:18 “The Lord is near to all who call on him…”

Deuteronomy 4:29 “…You will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul…”

James 4:8 “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you…”

Now I should say, if you go and actually look up these verses and read them you will see that many of them come with some sort of clause. There is action required on our part most of the time.

However, the truth is there. God is near. God desires to be near. God wants us to draw near. When we perceive distance we ignore. When we ignore we create our own beliefs rather than entering into truth. My prayer this morning is that we will choose to enter into relationship with God today. We will seek him today. We will close the gap and search for the God who can be known.

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