Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Timing of God-time: All Day

When it comes to connecting with God, we determine to put it at the tippy-top of our list. At least, those of us who think we’d stop breathing if list-making went away. On an itinerary, it happens in the early morning. On a to-do list, it goes under Urgent. I used to feel guilty about every task I did ahead of my God-time. (I’m sorry, I just can’t say the word “devotions” without it feeling dead and ritualistic and boring. I realize it’s connotations based on my own experience, but I just can’t.) I’d seriously feel yucky about myself until I’d talked to God and had a shower. I didn’t feel acceptable – even tolerable, until I was clean and accomplished.

Then I read The Shack and it suggested a different paradigm for God-time. I've loaned it to someone at the moment (if it's you, please let me know!). I loan all my favorite books and don't keep track of them well...or at all. Anyway, in it Jesus suggests he doesn't want to be the tip of our pyramid-life. If our life were a mobile, he wants to be the central piece that all our life's parts spin around. Isn't that gorgeous? I decided I'd still make time for just him, though not necessarily at the first slot on my agenda, and watch for him all day. 

"I don't just want a piece of you and a piece of your life. Even if you were able, which you are not, to give me the biggest piece, that is not what I want. I want all of you and every part of you and your day."  -The Shack

I've done this to some degree ever since this sunk in: "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of lights..." (James 1:17) I started to think when I accidentally grabbed my favorite butter knife (the only one like it, but it felt so good in my hand) that he put it there just for me. When my sister played Claire de lune on the piano, I'd lay back and close my eyes, knowing where the music came from. It was a freakin' love song. For me. And when I was running late, but had an errand to run, you know I felt like she'd cut me a break when I'd find a close, pull-through parking space. Over the top. Fist-bump the sky. 

But now I know all those little things mean the world to God too. He wants to be with me all day and it was the most consistent way we hung out when my babies were tiny and days and nights got all mixed up. Where do devotions fit in there, pray tell?! There isn't a clear beginning to my day. But that was okay because I was circling around...God's love-gravity holding me in. I wasn't spinning out the longer I went without uninterrupted Bible reading. If my murky thoughts felt lost and far from her, I remembered she lives inside me, at the center of me and all my feelings, so even when I felt lost, I knew I haden't been cut loose. 

Which reminds me of my favorite moment in The Shack. Jesus and Mack are laying on a dock, star gazing quietly. Mack admits to feeling lost. "A hand reached out and squeezed his, and didn't let go. 'I know, Mack. But it's not true. I am with you and I am not lost.'" Gah! That's it! That's why there's no need for anxiety when it comes to God time -- no shame. Because it's Jesus leading. We can trust our hearts to him, no matter how we feel. His affection is over us from the moment we wake needing deodorant and no Bible in our hand. He even loves us when we get to early afternoon in the same state. And if we bask in the warmth of his love, which is the point of God-time and God-spiraling, we'll even get to feel it. 

P.S. In case any of you are weirded out or even just curious about my use of both pronouns when I talk about God, I have two reasons: It's more accurate and I find it comforting. For sure Jesus became a male human, but as for the rest of the trinity, it took men and women to demonstrate their full nature. Picturing God as female opens our minds to parts of her we haven't necessarily realized or embraced before. I say I'm comforted because there's no haven like the softness of a woman who's seen it all and stays soft. It's all hushabyes and soft blankets because she'll take care of you. And some of us, who've struggled with their father figures or had none at all, can come home to the mother-side of God more easily. 


  1. What a beautiful post and a great reminder, Kendra. I was disturbed by The Shack (read during my last month of pregnancy and couldn't get past the crime involved!) but I did love how out of the box the author described God and his/her parts. It was fascinating. Thanks for this today--great to read!

    1. The violence IS hard to read about, but it answered for me (for the first time) what the heck God was doing WHILE I was being hurt. That was the last piece of my healing process (after 4 years of counseling) and it brought me a lot of peace. Glad you enjoyed this post!