Imagine. Talking to God.
Prayer is another of those funny English words that stand symbol for all kinds of experiences. Wikipedia has that it enters the English language in the late 13th C, from French and Latin words built on the ideas of entreaty, request, and simple asking. And when the folks I know talk about praying, that’s mostly what they mean. And I suppose, fundamentally, that’s the basic idea. The finite looking to the infinite for…something, anything that might shed light on this existence of ours. We’re standing in a bright field thousands of years ago, marveling at stalks of grain pushing up through rich, wet sod, and next day, marveling takes on a furious tint after night winds in a twisting column of rage reaches from high clouds to ground, leveling and destroying everything we know and live for.
What is this life, lush and terrifying?
So we look up and ask, hoping for help, frankly desperate.
Given our finite nature, our wreckage of spirit, and our constant winding down toward death, I suppose our basic stance–asking–is the only one really appropriate. We arrive on the planet not of our own volition, and who knows what grace keeps us breathing even today?
The truly stunning thing about the Judeo-Christian idea is that God actually seeks us out, not just to toy with, not just to fill up his desired quota of praise and worship, but to actually walk alongside. Relationship is the pulpit buzzword, and all are exhorted to be in “right relationship with God.” Fair enough, but I keep thinking about all my other relationships, and how lousy they’d all be if they were exclusively asking, begging relationships.
Somebody needs to write a book: The 10 Best Things about Hanging Out With God. Or Hanging with the Divine in 3 Easy Steps.
Maybe once a week, or more, we lay down the intercessory list, and the personal panic list, and the one we really care about, the wishful thinking list, and just decide to “hang out” (for lack of a better term) with God. Walk, maybe? A cool of the evening kind of experience, chatting about the absurdities of our days. What might He say, if we start the conversation with something like, “Tell me about Your day.” And then we just shut up, and listen.
Talking to God…