Saturday, 8 February 2014

Don’t Look Now

It is possible to communicate with God or the Spirit. By this, I mean not just that we can pray or worship, but I would say on rather rare occasions, we can hear or sense God or the Spirit communicating back to us. This – let’s call it a revelation or a burst of spiritual awareness – is of course wonderful and mystical. It can change lives. It is rare, special and immensely precious.
So how can we get more of it to happen? Ah! They say you can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. I don’t imagine that we can bring the Spirit to us but not make it communicate. No, it’s the other way round. I suspect that we are the horse: we can take ourselves towards God, but in my experience, we can’t very often make ourselves communicate with him, or hear him communicating with us.
Winnie-the-Pooh says, “Poetry and Hums aren’t things which you get, they’re things which get you. And all you can do is to go where they can find you.” Pooh is not famous as a theologian, and he is talking about Poetry and Hums, rather than awareness of God, but apart from that, he’s spot-on.
OK, so how do we put ourselves in the right place so that God can find us? It may be more a case of, How do we put ourselves in the right place so that we can allow ourselves to let God find us? As you know, someone who tries too hard to achieve something, especially if that something is a horse-to-water phenomenon, can make it less likely to happen, rather than more likely. If I am desperate to get you to love me, so desperate that I fawn and cling and plead and agonise (or if I hit on you too obviously, or even stalk you) I may put you right off. Not more love, but less than ever.
Pooh and Piglet are walking in the forest, when they spot Tigger seriously stuck up a pine tree and mistake him for a Jagular. “. . . The Jagular called out to them. ‘Help! Help!’ it called. ‘That’s what Jagulars always do,’ said Pooh, much interested. ‘They call, “Help! Help!” and then when you look up, they drop on you.’ ‘I’m looking down,’ cried Piglet loudly, so as the Jagular shouldn’t do the wrong thing by accident.”
Sometimes, we need to not strive, if what we desire can’t be achieved by striving. They say, “God knows where you are. He will come and find you, when you least expect it.” “OK,” I say, “Lord, I’m not expecting you, right? See, I’m actually looking in the opposite direction. Now come and find me . . . Lord?” Piglet carefully looks down, so as to avoid the disaster of being dropped on by a Jagular. I don’t look too hard for God, so as to avoid the disaster of his not contacting me. Neither seems to work.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks, Paul your first paragraph describes my experience.