Close Encounters of the God Kind

It’s been a rough week. Not for any specific reason, no real tests or hardships. Everything has just been… draining. The house is a little messy, the cars are acting a little funny, our jobs are a little more taxing than usual… It’s mostly the accumulation of little things that weigh down my shoulders to the point of wanting to hide inside of a man-cave and pop out occasionally to forage for food.

I’ve had a couple thoughts lying dormant in my mind, but trying to convince myself to explore those instead of the fictitious caves of Torchlight or the dreaded Salt Factory in Super Meat Boy has been a losing battle. By the time I get home, I feel mildly pummeled and just want to bask in the glory of doing nothing for a while. The good news, I suppose, is that work has been aggravating enough to keep the fire under me lit so I’m still looking for gainful employment elsewhere. I called to do a follow up on the Dream Job I mentioned in the last post and found that it hasn’t been filled and they’re planning on scheduling interviews in the next one to two weeks. I remain hopeful.

In terms of God, things are… better. Okay. Decent. I was feeling guilty for not posting more blogs, but realized two blogs a month is still way better than the four year hiatus I was on. At church, we’ve been in the midst of a million week-long series of Exodus. Sunday we talked about Moses asking God to show him his glory and how afterwards, Moses’ face was “radiant”.

I was pondering that notion and we went on to talk about how Moses would wear a veil over his face. I don’t recall if it stipulated a time frame in which this was the case, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that was pretty much permanent. Close encounters of the God kind have a track record of leaving scars. I don’t think that’s an accident. I assert that it is not possible to come into close contact with God, and not be changed as a result.

As humans, we are fallen. At worst, we’re broken, and at best, we’re a little crooked. When we come anywhere near the immensity of God’s sheer, uncompromising, goodness it tears us apart. It cuts off our baggage and rips through our facades. In the heat of God’s grace, our secret shame sizzles to the surface ugly and exposed. For a few moments, we see things clearly. Suddenly all of our chosen battles seem less important. Issues that seconds ago seemed vague and unimportant strike us as life-changing. Sometimes it’s dramatic and moving, but most of the time, it’s not. Usually it’s a quiet, insistent nudging that finally pushes us over the edge and we make a deliberate decision to start doing things differently.

When I was younger, I used to pray for moments like that. I think as I’ve gotten older, I’ve actually come to fear them a little. It’s a lot easier to just keep my head down and my mouth shut than it is to examine my behavior. Encountering God seems inconvenient and time consuming. My life as it is comfortable. It’s easy. And, if we’re being honest, I’m pretty sure I like it that way.

And so, I’m left with a choice. Do I chase after God with the reckless abandon of my youth, or remain hunched over my desk in my button-down, lily white, nine to five world? As is so often the case, I think at the moment my path lies somewhere in between these things… I’ve had a strong enough taste of God to know that He’s something I want more of… But I also know that it’s just not in me to behave and live like the bright eyed and busy-taled Christian I used to be. I think for now, until my next God Encounter, I’m content to stumble off in His general direction.


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