December 14


Today's quotation:

If you want a television, you go out and work for
it and you buy it.  If you want to learn about Aztec pottery, you take a course.  But the relationship with God requires the active and passionate participation of you, yourself.  You have to risk it.  You have to abandon yourself to it.  You have to leap into the fire.  Nobody will do it for you; nobody can do it for you.

Andrew Harvey

Today's Meditation:

If we believe in God, then there's no reason in the world not to believe that we can have a relationship with God.  Directly, not through anyone or anything else.  After all, if God is omniscient and omnipresent as most seem to believe, then he's right here right now, wherever you may be at this moment.  And just because he happens to be God doesn't mean that he's not interested in a relationship with you.  After all, if you were God, wouldn't you want to have direct contact with the people or beings that you created?  I know I would.

If I want to develop a friendship with someone I know, it takes effort.  It takes making decisions that make a friendship one of my highest priorities.  If I want to develop a strong relationship with my spouse or children or brother, I must work at it.  I simply can't do so by neglecting my connections with the person.  My relationships may not get worse if I make little effort, but they surely will not improve.

It's the same with God, however we perceive God.  We're taught somehow that if we want to reach God, we must go through others-- priests or pastors or rabbis-- but that simply makes no sense.  If God is all-powerful and all-loving, then he needs no intermediaries.  You can talk to God just as well as any saint or religious leader can; all you need is the faith to do so and the willingness to make the effort.

It does sound risky.  What if God doesn't answer?  If that happens, then I might be less desirable in God's eyes than other people.  But God is more faithful than we can even imagine, and he won't leave us hanging-- we just have to learn how to listen to the messages that God gives us.  And it is worth it to build this relationship, for getting tapped in to unconditional love in this way helps us to learn to love the others in our lives much more strongly and much more faithfully.

[By the way, I use the pronoun "he" solely for the sake of simplicity.  Personally, I believe that God is beyond gender.]

Questions to consider:

Why do so many people think it sounds weird to build a "relationship" with God?

What kinds of things might we do to try to strengthen our relationship with God?

What are we risking if we try to develop such a relationship?  What are we risking if we don't?

For further thought:

God has spoken very boldly about his desire to be a presence in our lives.  If I want to heal the ache and loneliness in my own life, one of the things I need to do is get away alone with God.  The paradoxical “answer” to loneliness is aloneness . . . with God.  In the silence God will speak to you most powerfully.  Too often his words to us get muffled, lost, or covered by the crowd of many noises both inside and outside of us.  We must have a quiet heart in order to hear God’s distinctive message to us.

Tim Hansel

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