Maybe We’re Just Not Paying Attention…
I am constantly trying to understand the obstacles and roadblocks that keep people from entrusting their earthly and eternal lives to Jesus so that I can meet them at those roadblocks and offer some realtime suggestions of alternative routes…
One such roadblock that is all too common is this:
“But I can’t see God. There’s a part of me that believes, and there’s a bigger, more child-like part that wants to believe, but He just seems like a “too good to be true” fairy tale. I just wish I could see Him…with my physical eyes. THen I’d believe.”
THis is a valid and honest statement; no doubt about it. Here are some thoughts that hit me last week about this topic:
I’m willing to bet that there are many simple and mundane details to our daily lives that we don’t notice. For the following examples, don’t guess. Only you know if you really know the answer, or if you’re guessing. But guessing right still proves the point. Do you KNOW for certain any of the answers to the following questions (that is, have you taken the time before reading this post to actually notice the reality of these statements?):
1. What brand are the tires on your car?
2. How many steps are there in your residence from the first to the second floor?
3. How many steps are there from the first floor to the basement?
4. What way does your bathroom door open, in or out?
5. How many prongs are there on your forks?
6. How many vertical posts are there on your stairs’ banister?
7. Is your doorbell on the right or left side of your front door?
8. On your car, what side is the fuel door on–the right or the left?
9. Which way does your ceiling fan rotate, clockwise or counter?
10. What color shirts/tops were the people in your house wearing today?
My point is this: most of us are terrifically close to things/people everyday whose details we simply do not notice, whose minutae we simply pass by and gloss over. This doesn’t make us bad people, it just shows that there are parts of reality every day that we simply do not pay attention to. We’re busy, we’re focused on the macro-picture, not the micro, etc.
Maybe God is like this. Maybe God too is all around us but we’re just not taking the time, or giving the effort, to really notice Him. Maybe we have an inaccurate view of God, seeing Him as a stodgy and overly authoritarian teacher who is “late for class,” and when we pause for a moment to see if He’s really there, upon not seeing Him as we want to see Him, we quickly change the topic in our mind to pursue something safer, something more immediately gratifying.
Maybe we’re not pursuing God seriously because we’re worried what He’ll be like–and what He’ll have to say to us–if we do find Him…
Remember, in the short term, in many ways it’s in our best interests not to find God, just as it was in my best interests, as a 16 year old left home alone for the weekend, not to find and read the note of chores and instructions my parents left behind for me. If I could’ve just steered clear of that document, could’ve out-maneuvered its presence and existence, well, then I’d have a pretty solid excuse should I get caught red-handed with anything upon my parents’ return.
My friends, God is not out to get us–there are no pop quizzes with God, for He wants us all prepared for the tests, trials, and turns that are approaching. So may we slow down to notice the God who is all around us–may we seek Him with all our heart and really try and find Him.
-May we bend down and check out the brand of tires that keep our cars securely on the road.
-May we slow down to notice the number of prongs on the fork that feeds us.
-May we count the stairs that lead us up to our comfortable bedrooms.
-May we count the stairs that lead us down to the fun of our rec rooms.
-May we look up and notice the rotation of the fan that cools us.
Emmanuel…”God With Us.”
Maybe we’re just too embarrassed, scared, angry, intimidated, rebellious, guilty, or shy to make eye contact with Him…
But I think God is trying to raise our gaze to see Him, the One Who loves us more than we could ever imagine, the One who has great plans for us if only we would acknowledge, surrender to, and love Him, turning over the keys to our lives so that He can drive us to His desired destination: home with Him forever…He’s the only one Who knows the way…
Focused Travelling, Fellow Pilgrims…