Waiting for Jesus to Speak ~ BitterSweetLife

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Waiting for Jesus to Speak

At heart, I would like to be a Christian mystic. Not the kind of guy who throws out all previous revealed truth, including the Bible, and starts a build-your-own-Jesus project, but the kind of guy who hears God talking to him when he is driving to work or taking out the garbage. Whenever I hear someone recounting how God spoke audibly, sent a vision, or handed down a life mission in 48-point font, I have to fight down pangs of jealousy. I would like my experience of Jesus to be more unmistakable, more tangible.

To this end, I've started driving to work in the mornings without any music or radio. I drive in silence, occasionally swallowing the things I want to say to nearby psychotic drivers, and deliberately speak to God. These half-hour sessions of prayer and silence have been good, and I'm happy that I'm pursuing them. Combined with some time in the Bible, they help me to start the day
grounded, start on a fairly stable basis so that I can remain a Christian when I walk through poison ivy or get mud in my eye.

I am convinced that Jesus hears my prayers, and I know that spiritual work is accomplished as we speak. I say this to illustrate that my day is better when I clear space and struggle through to commune with God. My spirit is healthier, I feel better. Moreover, I know it is honoring to God when I do this.

However, I can't help wishing that God would talk to me in a more dramatic way. I never feel that I'm speaking into the air. I sense that God is present with me. But his presence seems so understated, so easily missed, so muted. This is where I start wishing that I was a mystic. That I was a guy who had conversations with God that I would occasionally interrupt to speak with other people.

Jesus has reached down into my life and left clear fingerprints before. I believe he has saved me from death a couple times, physically--and that's on top of saving me from Hell. He has handed out some completely silencing, Job-like rebukes with the force of his presence that I still remember as if they happened yesterday. He has walked with me, vivid and strong, through some very dark times. There have been seasons of life where he's given me long drinks of what taste like undiluted, unaccountable joy.

I suppose I just wish these moments of divine conversation came more frequently. Are you listening, Jesus? Yeah, that's a rhetorical question. For the time being, I guess I'll keep driving to work without the radio on.

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R. Sherman said...

Looks like it's time for Google to work on its Spambot protection.

The distractions that you describe, i.e. radio, drivers, cellphones, drown God's voice out. That's why I like to go to the desert and your thoughts mirror some of mine upon returning home from the Four Corners.


tim said...

I think God likes to whisper quietly to make sure we're really paying attention. He likes to be found in the still small voice in the wind, or the easily mistaken voice of a friend ("Samuel, come here..." "Yes Eli?"). The times that I've heard him clearest have been times of silence, times where my soul shouted earnestly forth into the void. Then sharper than a ray of sunshine and with a sort of wire-sharpness his word came to me in a personal way. Unexplainable, undeniable and invisible to the naked eye. Not a voice to the ears, but one to the heart.

Honey said...

have you ever tried visiting a local quaker meeting?

Ched said...

I can resonate with your sentiment here. It's especially easy for me to miss out on this in the throes of Paradigms and exegesis. I hope to join you on this pursuit this summer. It takes severe intentionality to combat distraction. Grace to you in your effort.


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife