Friday, July 24, 2009

God In The Box

It's safe for ages 3 and up. Oh, very, very safe! You'll know you have a genuine God-in-the-Box by this: the only time God pops up is when you turn the handle. A jaunty tune plays, always the same, one you have memorized. The face has only one expression: a benign smile.

You're a little possessive of your God-in-the-Box and don't like it when someone suggests another way to play. It makes you nervous when someone suggests that possibly, the One in the box might be other than you've always thought. Maybe that One would prefer being elsewhere.

Your life is as tidy and bright and square as the box you keep God in - and about as useful. Yet you understand that some places are not appropriate for your God-in-the-box, and you oblige by leaving it at home, say, when going out to dinner, or grocery shopping, perhaps, out among needy people.

As soon as the time as right, though, you can always crank the handle of that God-in-the-Box. And--thank God-in-the-box! You can easily press God back down when you're done with him.

Do you have one of these? How's it working for you?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Seek First the Kingdom

The Echo Within reminded me how God works through our own personalities and gifts, and I thought with a chuckle of a little question/answer game I've been playing for a few years.

I love to ask, "What does the kingdom of God look like - in me?" For when I recognize it, then I know what direction to take. I know what to seek. It's not always first impulse; no, not at all. Sometimes I want to religious-cize things and create some grand scheme that has nothing to do with who I really am, how I'm made.

I might assume:
I should be taking mission trips. That's what committed folks do.
- or -
I should be on a church committee for ________ (fill in the blank).
- or -
I should be attending functions, like all these other nice people.

By contrast, I'm learning to ask:
Where is the place - in me - that God reigns?
What sort of place is it?
What does it:
look like
smell like
sound like
taste like
feel like - ?

For me, that kingdom has to do with teaching others - specifically, teaching creativity, which leads people to a greater trust in the Creator. That kingdom has to do with caring for my family - cooking, listening, taking out garbage, cutting flowers, walking with my husband. And that kingdom has to do with writing stories both real and imagined, creating art with words and other tools.

Making assumptions about what some other God-place looks like, or should look like only gets a person off track.

You're the you God wants to work with, just the way you are. That kingdom of God? It's in you, remember. You won't know what to look for, if you don't make some inquiries and check out the space.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Where Glory Starts

Sign seen on a Pentecostal church along the highway, somewhere in Washington: "Revival Glory begins in you."