Monday, 16 July 2007

Search for the Invisible God

"...how faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power?" (Job 26:14)

If God really wanted to be found, why didn't he draw a better map? Why does he hide in clouds and parables? Why does he speak to us in his "still, small voice" when Isaiah and Job assure us he can "thunder", while Ezekiel and John describe the sound of his voice as "rushing waters"? Why doesn't he just lay it out all plainly? Do we have a hope of hearing his gentle whisper amid the cacaphony of an Information Society?

It is unfortunate htat our "fast food culture" extends its reach to ideas. Never has such an array of information been available to us. On the other hand, never has there been so much to sort through, to analyse before we come to a reasoned decision. A veritable buffet of data, complete with various perspectives and opinions, is open to us at any hour of the day. What can the postmodern citizen do except throw up her hands in despair and resort to the random or to personal whims? Even those of us who call ourselves "seekers" like our ideas pre-chewed and presented to us with bullets, via Powerpoint if possible. The possibilities are simply too overwhelming. In fact, one who says he "knows" anything must be considered a near fool, since it would be impossible to draw conclusions from more data than could ever be analysed.

We have an invisible God who refuses to conform to the parameters of any measurable data set, and on top of it all, speaks in a bare whisper. Are we to be blamed if we don't believe in him?

How does one recognize God? The Jewish people of Jesus' day puzzled over this question. They were waiting anxiously for a messiah who would deliver them from their oppressors. Instead, along came a carpenter from Nazareth (of all places!) who spent time with the wrong people; forgave a woman plainly caught breaking God's law; and spoke of God as his father.

'Then they asked him, "Where is your father?" "You do not know me or my Father," Jesus replied. "If you knew me, you would know my Father also." (John 8:19)

Those who looked for the messiah, basing what they looked for on what they knew of God, recognized his Son. Those who looked for the messiah as they hoped he would be were blinded by their expectations.

The disciples, too, were confused at Jesus' approach. "Why do you speak to the people in parables?" they asked.

Jesus explained that God's secrets are not heard by the ear nor known in the intellect alone.

For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.' (Matthew 13:15)

The problem wasn't their ears or their eyes or their I.Q., it was their HEART. They were looking for the wrong things. They had become hard. They didn't long for what God was, therefore they couldn't appreciate it though Yahweh himself came and lived among them. Is this our problem?

Oh, I'm not advocating letting go of ears or intellect. God gave them both to be used. But be careful of what your heart longs for. It blinded the scribes, despite their education. It blinded the priests, despite their religious experience.

If you long to know God, you can't begin with a leap into what you don't know (even if you like to call it "faith").
Don't search for a supernatural being (for there are many such beings).
Search for what YOU know of Light, Love, Truth, wherever and however you have gained knowledge of those three. Surely those who looked for such things in Jesus' day recognized him when they saw him, while the scribes and studied theologians argued among themselves about whether or not it was lawful for Jesus to be healing on the Sabbath!

Please don't think I'm saying everyone who doesn't know God this second has a "heart problem" (we all have sin!). Sometimes God hides himself from us when we become too satisfied with too little of him. Sometimes he empties out our little store of "God moments", scattering them in the dust of doubt, in order to give us a deep and abiding experience of him.

Oh, give up on the "God" you have constructed in your mind! Call yourself an atheist or an agnostic if you must. But seek Love with your last blink, your last synapse, your last breath!

5 comments:

bjk said...

good .....not sure what else to say....sound advice.

joeyanne said...

Your post gives hope. I struggle within myself to search beyond the borders of my comfortable little life. But when I stay in my cozy little corner, I am surrounded by my own weakness. I know God in very limited capacities, but I long to know Him more deeply. I long for the day when my struggle will be over and I will know Him even as I am known. And yet, this life is such an opportunity to learn Him; to deny self and find the Everlasting God, my Creator. I am challenged to waste not an opportunity to seek His sweet company. Every moment apart from Him leaves me feeling empty.

Dan Marvin said...

Thank you Jennypo for your witness for our Lord.

Robert said...

you express so poetically jenny your words point to the manna and how He so longs for us to find it and keep it well find Him stay with Him I think you are guilty of being a berean yes i think the evidence shows it good work :)

bjk said...

Your comment to me....I don't know what to say IT BLESSED me...Thank you for pointing always and only to HIM......