I’ve been conducting a little experiment for the past couple of months – reading the Bible as if I was having a direct conversation with God. For instance, I’ll ask a question and then see if my daily Bible reading has the answer. Now I’m sure some of you may consider this to be like playing Magic 8-Ball with a 2,500 year old piece of poetry. Some may figure that I’ve just bought myself an EZ Pass to Son-of-Sam-Land. I’ll send you a postcard when I get there.
My way of thinking is that Jesus told his followers to ask for whatever they wanted and it would be given to them. This seems to indicate that at the very least the practice of following Jesus is supposed to be dialectical.
Let me cut to the chase here and say that yesterday I was reading from my friend Tom’s superb devotional Fearless: 40 Reflections on Fear, illustrated with very nice surf photography by his brother Hank Foto. Yesterday’s assignment was this: As you pray today, ask God to show you areas in your life that He would like to change so that you might experience the full joy of being His child.
I went about the morning piddling and tinkering on little projects, not making any real headway on any one thing. When I went out to take the dog to the groomer I noticed a little puddle of water seeping out from under the garage door. I figured it was a leftover from Friday’s freak rainstorm. Still, I decided that I would follow the stream back to its source…wouldn’t you know it but our 7-year water heater decided to expire two weeks shy of its seventh birthday.
Suddenly and rather pointedly I am aware of an area of my life that needs changing – my garage needs to be cleaned out so that the repairman can get to the water heater. So I’ve spent that last few hours shoving crap from one corner to another wondering what it means that God wants me to clean out my garage. But as I was cramming an unfinished kayak back up into the rafters another thought came to me. I didn’t ask God what I should be working on. I specifically asked him what He wanted to work on.
If this is true, if the word of God is living and active, then it would appear that God wants to work on, and hopefully bring some healing to, some weird part of my soul that is connected to the crapheap in my garage. This, I suppose, is what they mean when they say God moves in mysterious ways.