Tuesday, October 16, 2007

WWJDWTC - Lesson #1: Having a New God

I don’t plan to update this new phase (experiment) of my life (walking away from the wreck) every day. But when something happens, I will post about it.

This morning after several cups of coffee and while folding laundry I remembered that I was going to ask the Father to show me what he was doing today and if he showed me and it was something for me to act on I was willing today. So I did. But as I started to address Him, I inadvertently called him Papa. You see I had just read this excellent post by “Willie,” author of The Shack and the name for God, being Papa, what “Willie” calls God came to mind and to my lips.

Now, calling God, Father, is ok by me. I can see that. I have done that often. It is a common name for God in my head. But frankly, the name of Papa as a name for God seemed kind of hokey to me. It is ok for a novel, or for someone else like a friend that I know who is kind wild and free, but not for me.

But today, in walking away from the wreck of my life in the institutional church I found that somewhere in standing around and looking at the wreck another God had replaced the one I went into the wreck with. This God was so different that I could not even refer to Him with the same name.

I realized that I did not want to walk away from this wreck with my old God. That God was demanding and I never measured up to his expectations – nor did anyone else. My old God would have wanted a plan. A plan for today, tomorrow and don’t forget to work on the 5 year plan too. “Without vision the people perish,” or something along those lines. My chores did not change nations. I would have felt worthless and looked for something that appeared more like his “will.” Mostly, I felt that my old God loved me but was not fond of me. He just wanted me to get to work.

This new God was fond of me and when I called him Papa this morning I saw him smile gently. Not really saw it as much as sensed it. This God wanted to walk with me. He was not so concerned as to the direction we took as that we were walking together. Nothing made Him happier than for me to ask Him where we were headed and could I tag along. He was not too busy for me. He did not care if I had wash to fold, phones to answer and dinner to cook. Those chores were not substandard to doing his “will.” They were what he wanted to do with me today. He was content. My Papa was content. Wow!!........Did you read that? Can God truly be content? Can He be content with me?

Ok, so lesson #1. I have a new God to walk with. I hope He does not mind. I sure don’t.

9 comments:

Maria said...

I've known that task-master God, too. Thanks for the reminder that Papa delights in us just as we are.

Sarah said...

Fantastic post! I relate so much... loved the line "My chores did not change nations." Sooo funny.

Also appreciated your insights: "Those chores were not substandard to doing his "will"." I've been learning so much about how I used to dichotomize doing God's "will" from the nitty gritty of my life. What a distaster that mindset is! Thanks for sharing this!

I'm with you - just want to live my life with Him, no matter where we go or what we're doing. As long as we can share it together...

PJ said...

Papa...
Reminds me of a friend of mine in Bible College who always prayed sincerely to "Daddy God." Precious.

glenn said...

Barb- Thanks for sharing the "lesson." It's generally a very hard one for us. Makes me want to go, ahhhh (a sigh of shalom.)

Steve Sensenig said...

Awesome thoughts. Thank you for this post!

Mary said...

What a great reminder for me to "be still." Thanks!

Erin said...

Hey I loved the line about chores not changing nations....I did so many big things and ignored the real life things because they didn't have enough "mission". Go figure.

He wants us to do laundry as an act of worship.

Sue said...

Hello there, former leader person. I have absolutely no idea who you are ... surfed in via Willie's "Shack update". I never, ever get tired of hearing about people's journeys with this muchly new-and-improved God ;)

I have just started rereading The Shack for the upteenth time last night. These days I tend to skip the first chapters to get to all the juicy relationship in the middle. There are so many nuggets of insight in there ... and the thing that is so delicious is the feeling of closing the book and thinking, "Yes, but this is a walking story and I'm in the middle of it" *grin* How delicious

Barb said...

and hello back to you Sue, welcome!
And thanks for all the other comments too. You guys are super!