I came across a phrase the other day that stuck with me. I was having a conversation about God and how he communicates with us, when a friend said that “God is a gentleman. He doesn’t go where he’s not invited.” If I had heard that at an earlier point in my life, I would have rolled my eyes. There was a pretty distinct time in which I begged God to come into my life, and all I heard from him was silence.
Things are better now. For the first time in years and years I’m finding myself having conversations with God again. Like, not just the spit-words-at the-ceiling-and-hope-they-find-their-way kind, but real, authentic back-and-forth conversation.
Recently, God told me that I needed to give him some space. I didn’t know exactly how to take this at first. Normally, that particular string of words means you are rapidly approaching heartbreak. Fortunately, God is above that kind of thing.
The image I found myself thinking about, was a crowded dance floor. In every movie that features a crowded dance floor, it’s only a matter of time before everyone goes to the sidelines in order to let the lead do their work. We’ve seen the trope enough times to know how it goes, but just in case…
That’s right. In this metaphor, God is freaking John Travolta. And, I think, if we’re doing it right, we’re all supposed to be the woman at the end of the clip.
Let’s say that the dance floor is where God does his best work. I think a lot of times we refuse to scoot over. We keep the floor populated with worries and ideas and hopes and dreams that we’re too scared to give up. And then God shows up, ready to dance and we wonder why he isn’t bouncing on his knees or rolling all over our tastefully glowing floor in his awesome three inch platform shoes. We don’t give him enough room to work.
Could Johnny T. have busted a move as thoroughly and efficiently if the crowd hadn’t given him the space? Yes. Yes he could. We know this because he goes on to do just that like a thousand times throughout the course of the movie. But for me, this is the only routine in the film that makes me wish I had been more willing to behave like an absolute idiot during prom.
For years, I’ve been praying that God would be inside and throughout my entire life. It’s a good prayer. It sounds like the sort of thing you should pray. And, maybe it is… but I wonder if maybe it’s like making plans with your friends. It’s one thing to tell someone, “You should totally come over sometime!”, but it’s something entirely different to say, “You should come over, say… Saturday at six?” God is a gentleman; he won’t show up unless you invite him. As it turns out, he’s also an amazing dancer, but he won’t monopolize the dance floor unless you let him.
Lately, I’ve been trying to let him. I’ve been working pretty consistently on improving my work situation. Answering customer service emails is fine, but I know that what I’m supposed to be doing with myself is telling stories and generating media. I believe that God loves and cares about us, and I believe he’s just as invested in my career as I am. So, to that end I’ve been scouring the internet and every resource I can come up with to try and find a job that matches my passion. I figure that in the end, it’s all up to God. All I can do is look for opportunities and apply. It’s my job to knock; it’s His job to open the door. I just have to find the right one.
I think that maybe that idea transcends more than job hunting… I think that maybe giving God the room he needs is about being willing to take on new tasks, new ideas and new opportunities just to see what he can do with them.
To that end, I guess now is as good a time as any to let you all know that I’m planning on participating in NaNoWriMo this year. (National Novel Writing Month for the uninitiated.) The idea is you commit yourself to writing a 50,000 word novel over the course of November. I feel like coming off of one year of posting two times a week… Maybe I’ve developed the discipline to do it this time. I’m hoping to get enough guest posts that I can take November off. I’ll talk about it a little more as we get closer, but I feel like saying this to all you helps keep me accountable when the time comes.
In addition, I’ve also begun doing some initial brainstorming for one of the podcasts I wanted to create. I feel like a recorder is necessary for some of the conversational podcasts I’d like to do, but I’ve wanted to try my hand at something akin to radio drama for a while now… and I can do that on my own, with my ancient labtec desk microphone if I have to. I don’t have a time frame on this one yet, so be patient. Eventually though, I hope to have something really cool for you all to listen to.