It is easier to talk about God
than talk to God.
It is easier to read about God
than listen to God.
It is easier to think about God
than to show up fully in God’s presence
and just be.
I love God
but I also fear God.
I don’t fear punishment in the traditional sense.
I don’t fear getting whacked if I step out of line,
or being sent arbitrary tragedy to keep me from getting too comfortable.
I do know I am loved by God,
that God doesn’t operate like that.
But I have genuine fear of God,
a fear which only being with God can calm.
I fear God not because of God.
I fear God because of me.
I can read, write and think about God for hours,
I can comment to God in my head all day long.
But to purposefully go to a place apart, alone,
as Jesus regularly did,
quiet my body, gather my mind,
and do nothing other than be with God . . .
it is the falling I fear.
The necessary falling.
Not a metaphor.
There is a falling.
I can feel it.
I come before God to be with God,
to be my true and full self,
to listen to God, to love God, to feel God’s love in return.
But the first thing that happens is a falling,
and it is the falling that is so very unsettling.
When I am busy and things are loud and much is happening,
I can push through, get it done, keep it moving,
stay above the thoughts and feelings.
But when I quiet myself alone before God,
the things I have built and occupied myself with tumble down.
The loud no longer stands between me and the things I don’t want to think about.
The busy no longer keeps my attention.
The action no longer blocks the wondering,
and a whole new way of existing springs slowly up
around and through me.
In this new springing, old things fall away,
and the falling away hurts.
I don’t beat a path to pray that way.
It is easier to skim along, label myself a Christian,
go to church, do the thing.
I don’t really want to pray that way,
to purposefully allow God that way . . .
until I am in the midst of it.
once I am in the midst of it,
past the falling,
past the weeping,
past the allowing,
there is nowhere in all of space or time I would rather be
than stepping into that clear,
of God’s delighted welcome.