3.40am Two hours and twenty minutes before getting-up time. Back to sleep.
Come on, Paul – back to sleep. Can’t. Course you can. Can’t – not going to happen. You sure? I’m sure – I wanna get up. No – you will wake (Mrs Paul) – stay put and don’t fidget. OK.
I’m ready God! What? I’m ready – we can do this here. Do what here? Today’s Countdown – we don’t need the computer – watcha got for me God – watcha got for me today?
(when our children were younger they became more and more excited as Christmas drew closer – this morning it is me …)
Was it that bus journey yesterday, God – it was wasn’t it! It was that person … No? Okay it was that other person then … that’s it today isn’t it Lord – “they” are it today …? Nothing? OK – so that’s not it either – what about “that moment” then – was that it? Or was it that forgive 70 x 7 thing – that would be good. OK – not that either – what about …
4.30am One hour and thirty minutes before getting-up time. No more sleep.
You still need to know, Paul, don’t you? Still need to know where the next one is coming from … what the next one is.
4.45am One hour and fifteen minutes before getting-up time. Just fifteen minutes before I can disturb (Mrs Paul) and get up for a coffee.
Why do I need to know? Why is walking on water still such a bummer? Am I spending too much time looking in? Does Church spend too much time looking in? Is this time in bed with me churning through yesterday “preparing me” … to be open … to be open to Your next insight … ? You there God … You gone again … You letting me wrestle on my own again, God … ? God … … … … ?
5.00am Thank you Maisy (our dog) for being restless – now I can get up to let you out (and finally get that cuppa for me).
Hiya Maisy – you gone back to sleep? Ah well, I am up now. May as well get that cuppa and see what God has for me today …
Decorations are looking good this morning … quick picture maybe …
(one brew later)
Hiya God – here I am! Bible open – today’s verses in front of me – all ready to be illuminated … So … watcha got for me today … ?
“You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But I have a testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me.” John 5:33-36
5.29am Is that it?
OK – lets see … “Human testimony” … ? Nah. “Shining lamp” maybe … ? So that’s not it either … Struggling now God … It’s looking sparse this morning God … You there God? Hello … Hey God, I’m here you know – waiting and all that – open and ready to receive you … Let’s go God – I have an hour ticking down here … watcha got for me today … ?
Are you done, Paul?
Finally you’re here!
Finally indeed, Paul.
And … ?
And what, Paul?
What’s it to be today – what’s the Countdown?
What “countdown”, Paul?
You know – the writing and stuff … that “Countdown”!
Ah nuts, God – stop playing hard to get! I’ve been awake now for nearly two hours waiting.
Waiting for what, Paul?
For you of course!
I’m always “here”, Paul.
Yeah yeah – I know all that – but less with the formal and let’s get with the Countdown!
What are we counting down, Paul?
You being born of course – the baby thing – the Mary Joseph thing – the manger and all that.
Oh … “that”!
Do you know how weird this sounds, Paul?
You wait for me to show you something because you are excited about a “nominal date in the diary” that someone has decided is when you all remember my birth – yet here we are chatting away together – here we are with you getting irritated because I (as the omnipresent God of the Universe you know I am) am late showing up with today’s stocking filler?
You are getting irritated with me because you are excited – and because I am not playing by your rules?
Who taught you to behave this way in front of me?
Who taught you to treat me with such disrespect?
Do you not suppose that I could swat you like a fly in my “omnipresent God of the Universe” role?
Have you not listened to anything my Church told you?
(can you here Him chuckling as He says that? I can!)
God you are a bad boy!
But I like you!
“Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved.”
The “Church” didn’t teach me to talk to You like this – You did.
And “human testimony” still teaches me unconditional love is way beyond me – but You teach me more and more that it is – and it is right now!
You do have the “greater testimony” – when I allow.
You do encourage – when others dismiss.
You do build up – when others say no.
You do let me splash around by myself – and You do stay right beside me while I do.
And the bible is always “about You” …
Just the bible is always “someone else’s” You – not me and You.
That is what You teach me.
This is how You teach me.
And (without me even realising it – again!) … here is today’s “Countdown”.
You are a very bad boy, dearest God – but you are my Bad Boy.
And I, dear Father, am yours!