Our son went travelling earlier this year. Three months of backpacking around the southern hemisphere (in a slow meandering kind of way). Along the way he stopped long enough on some sandy beach to take a PADI diving course and gain a qualification. We were most impressed! But then those hunky fire-fighters – they strap oxygen to their backs and rush into smoky hot places. That is not natural either – going into a place that is going to kill you. And then we “intubate” people (I think that is what the medical dramas call it). It isn’t oxygen strapped to your back, nor is it underwater or a hot smoky place. But it is still life giving oxygen from outside to keep the “intubatee” alive inside. We defy death on a daily basis and call it science. Now that is impressive.
So let’s talk about how impressively we “do God”.
There is an ever-increasing list, it seems to me, of no-go areas (and/or “no-go people”). A list we good Christian folk impose on ourselves and each other. And while science is applauded for going where no man has gone before (and sending back selfies whilst doing it) – at the same time “doing God” bashes science into a no-go area for being wrong about creation.
(for the sake of space, I am not listing all the “labels” I see bandied about – there are too many – way too many)
Which is odd.
“Belief” and God go hand-in-hand. It is called faith (I think). Like in “no evidence” courtroom kind of evidence. So why the “we must defend ourselves against you” approach? And not just against those who have not yet been saved – but especially those who HAVE been saved and now decide it is time to explore what it is they have been “saved to and from”. They are the most feared kind! The “ones who see God not as I see God” – and then want to tell you why.
Well … our son needs to strap on a tank of air. A fireman too. An intubated patient survives by having external air pumped in. Outside to inside … If your God is like that – then I guess you fear “running out of God” at the worst possible moment (I did). So you steer clear of the no-go people on the no-go list because you might be “un-Godded” by them (I did). But I lived many decades happily un-Godded, and I now live happily Godded. It’s just that I have not “strapped on God” – He is inside every cell of my body and soul/brain and heart. My God never runs out. Ever.
How do you do that?
I surrender to Love. There is no “manual” to follow. There is no “checklist” to tick. There is no “air to run out”. You just fall in love. You surrender. More and more. Deeper and deeper. To the place where “belief” runs out … and there is only Love. This is a beautiful place. An abundant place. A place of joy. A place of Grace. A place of Rest.
So why do I fear being … “un-Godded”?
My own thought? That is way before. That is a different place. A place I used to be. A place of strapping on God as an accessory – a lucky charm – a ritual – a belief. That is not this place. You cannot be un-Godded in this place anymore than you can put your heart, or a lung, or even your own brain “on the bedside table” when you go to bed at night. Why would you do that – how would you do that – what would you gain from that?
In this place – there is no fear – there is just Him and me. And others who do not fear “fear” – and others still searching for this place (no matter what name they give it). It is a place of many names. Between you and Him, me and Him. This place is my name for Him.
So I have a request.
That we quit “stopping” each other from finding this beautiful place. That we embrace those who have (because they are embracing you). That we each find this place. Because we ARE each able to come to this place – if we are allowed – and if we each allow. It’s what we are made to do.
It’s just that to come to this place you almost always have to ask all the right “wrong questions”.
And if love is always the answer – why fear the questions?