On our last full 24 hours here we got a text telling us our mobile phones were out of contract. We like our provider and wanted to renew. But the online option to do so came with warnings over losing this add-on and that setting. So we did the “chat thing” by live-text. And, through no fault of their own, the “chat staff” take ages to reach the conclusion we wanted: a new contract and seamless service.
Had we been at home, the time-spend would have been excessive. Sitting at an outdoor restaurant having enjoyed a relaxing meal – and with nowhere to rush off to – it was easy to let the process run its course.
Easy to add some humanity to the “conversation” … “I am singing Long to Phil Collins. It is very relaxing.” … “Thank you Mr Paul. Are you a good singer?” … “The very worst! 😂😂😂” … That kind of “face-face banter” – just by text. Mrs Paul thought I was nuts, and the chat-staff seemed to welcome it. From the amount of “thank yous” I guess they are more familiar with the “hurry up” approach. Like “church diary living”.
“Can’t do Friday … have a window on Thursday at 7.30am … or else it will have to be … no that clashes with … so I’ll
cancel them rearrange that one – and I think that does it!”
This phrase “we’ll have to rearrange – sorry” became very familiar. The limited availability also very familiar. The immediate “draw” (just like a gun-slinger for their gun) except with a diary instead. Along with the “don’t shoot” … “I don’t have my diary with me right now” (so can’t commit to anything because I will double-book if we do – and then have to
cancel you rearrange anyway).
I learned that “first come first served” (or to quote that phrase “meet you where you are”) was superseded by “and the last WILL be first” (as appointments agreed got
It wasn’t just Jesus who had no diary. The apostles didn’t either.
Plans … yes. Things to do and go and be … yes. But diaries that are great big solid walls around MY time and MY important things to do … no.
Those are of this world. Those are of and in this world. They are a cultural belief in “having to do and being seen to do” (my good and faithful servant whom I will judge on that Final Day).
Holidays remind me that that my normal frenzied hamster-wheel way of living is not of God but of
religion man. It is a taught belief that has now become fact. Another blind-spot perpetuated by group-think and borrowed from a “biblically correct” Christian-think culture.
I have experienced “God O’Clock” (or messing with my time control). I have experienced how 24 hours is just a number – our number. I have experienced allowing him to meet me where he invited – and still getting done all that “I” needed to get done.
Going bible-blind is NOT to trash or dismiss the bible. Going bible-blind is simply allowing “the greatest of these” to become my reality.
A reality that has none of the (self-imposed) burden and sacrifice – nor any “carrying a cross” so beloved of the believer – nor any of the verse-off crap the qualified in God feel necessary to spout. That is not of God – that is of man-made religious-culture that must be correct in all things.
God has become very simple for me.
Love without condition is very simple.
Being I Am is available right here and now.
But being “perfect in all things” … being seen to be a Good Christian … becoming a Mature Christian …
That is a heavy burden because it is of man.
And there is another verse-off about that one as well!
I’ve sometimes wondered if Jesus’ message would have done well in this age. An age where personal contact and live social contact is almost unheard of. Would he try using Facebook instead? How many likes? How many friends? Would people be impressed with a blind man being healed via tweet? Indeed, he picked a good age for the message to get out, one where face-to-face contact was valued.
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Me too. And I have changed my thinking as I have thought. That the message and the medium were not connected. Perhaps the medium would have been digital (or not) today, but we would all still be doing “word of mouth” as we have always done …
I hear “the message” by whatever means,. and I dismiss, belittle, discard, denigrate (no matter the humour used) – or perhaps hear, ponder, am ignited, am connected.
Jesus could have “connected” spiritually with the entire globe in the same moment just as we wish to do today. But he didn’t.
As for “likes” (or popular opinion) by/from the “common people” – they/it were/was as fleeting and voyeuristic as “likes” are today. Getting the message out was (and will always be?) a one-one meet-me-where-I-am journeying.
Because I think today we are too caught up with the numbers game and “world (spiritual kingdom) domination” – and use The (dubious at best) Great Commission “commandment” to feed that love of numbers, money and prestige/celeb (in Jesus name, amen – obviously).
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Actually, I think the message and the medium were connected. Now, years later, it’s easy to deliver a message that just about everyone has heard. It’s easy to get a job as a televangelist and preach on a message everyone is familiar with. But delivering a brand new message and getting people to relate to it, I think that has to be done face-to-face. People need to see the healing. Do it on TV and it’s a David Copperfield situation where people suddenly start wondering if it’s “magic” or real. People want to hear the message from the messenger and be able to ask questions. That’s hard to do with a brand new message online.
Look at blogs for an example. How many people does one blog really reach? How many “follower” actually read the blogs? How many respond? How many connect? A lot less than numbers would make you believe.
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And yet the more I walk this path the less I think it is about any “numbers” at all. At best I can sow seed (although even “sowing” assumes the seed has taken root). And as for changing anyone at all? That is their decision and choice – never mine. Just as my decisions and choices are always mine (no matter what i may wish to claim for convenience and comfort)..
I used to see the phrase “I am convicted” a lot – and only used in reference to bible stuff., and always as its own evidence. Because if “I am convicted” – it must be true (not)!
Nowadays – and for some time – the only person I think GSHJ wants me to change is me. Because that is the only person I can and will change if I allow. And maybe the key to all of this is “the allowing”. Not the message or the medium – or the “distraction” we like to use to avoid changing. 🙂
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