Friday, May 28, 2010

Blog #6 God, Presence - Response

Blog # 8 God, Presence - Response Years ago when I was Pastor out in Oklahoma I used to maintain a compost heap for enriching the soil of a large vegetable garden out in back of the church. In the Fall I used to drive around town and gather bags of leaves that would be placed at the curbs for the trash collectors to pick up and haul to the dump. The home owners had declared by their actions they no longer could use the leaves for shade or beauty, no longer needed to be identified with them, no longer wanted them as part of their life. Yet the dead leaves were real, They would not be real, would not exist but for God. They, as all that exists, belonged to God. In gathering them I saw myself as truly receiving them from God. He was as close to me as the giver of a gift. In praise and thanks to Him I placed them on the compost heap and waited for Him to process them into rich fertile soil for the garden. If the home owners were aware of the desire and use I had for the leaves they might very well have put a price on them and cause me in the process of buying the leaves to be removed a step away from receiving them directly from God. Rather I would receive them from the seller and tend to have the experience of thinking in terms of the seller rather than of God, in terms, in view of the fact I bought the leaves, of possessing the leaves by right rather than as a gift. Something like this is the case in regard to artificial fertilizers and so much of our modern experience of life. God is behind it all, no doubt about that. But we have to step beyond the immediate evidence to know and experience by faith this truth about God. Some fail to do this and God is for them less real less present less loving, Several parallel situations occur regularly in the daily experience of most of us. We may give the mail carrier a gift of appreciation at Christmas but most of the year we tend to take him or her for granted and focus upon the mail we receive. The traffic lines in yellow and white up and down the miles of highway we regularly travel did not just happen to be. They are measured out and placed strategically to help us drive more safely. Someone did this we know if we stop to think about it. But I would think most people never do. I have formed a habit of expressing thanks in a short prayer to God for those persons, now living or dead but equally real as myself who were responsible for the traffic lines I use. The same goes for the persons who had something to do with the manufacture of my computer, baked my bread, delivers my gasoline, keeps the street lights lit and so many other blessings that come to me each day. I have a hunch not everyone or many have this experience. Maybe the same reasons that is true are the reasons many people do not experience God’s presence and love in all of creation. A good place to start such a habit might be with yourself, precisely with your heart. It is an involuntary muscle pumping night and day at its own discretion because God wills it to be so.

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