“God, Make Me More Real to YOU.”
Posted in Chatter
(Chatter letter from the editor, November 2009)
Have you ever prayed the prayer, “God, make yourself real to me?” I have. It’s one of my default prayers, actually. Who doesn’t want God to feel real and present, especially at 7 in the morning when you’re cutting up carrots for your toddler’s lunch? But something—or Someone—has convinced me recently that the more appropriate prayer would be:
“God, make me more real to you.”
My life has been filled over the past four months with all kinds of fun activities, most of which came to a screeching halt about two weeks ago. I suddenly found myself alone with what felt like an empty shopping cart outside of a closed down Target in the middle of the night—a sad spectacle, especially if it’s a SuperTarget and you’re craving a Twix. I realized I’ve been operating on spiritual junk food all summer instead of the sustaining, healthful goodness that is communion with God. It’s not that I didn’t love God or talk to God or wasn’t relying on God. It’s just that God was one option on a buffet of emotional delicacies. My story is so typical, really. Boring even. But this week—today—is one of the few times I’ve actually felt Poor in Spirit, and I never really knew what that Jesus-y term meant until now. Being Poor in Spirit means God is all I’m counting on. And he becomes awfully real to me when he’s all I have. I, on the other hand, become more real to him when I live for our relationship instead of whatever else is orbiting my life’s core at the moment.
But getting to this place of singlemindedness is tricky when God heaps such good and wonderful things into my lap—things that have made me jealous of myself and tickled to death to be alive. Life in 2009 has been grand, and almost embarrassingly so. And now in my (comparatively) mild loss, I’ve caught a brief glimpse of the curious condition we are all in but which offends me a little to acknowledge: that I am not independent and free. I am hopelessly, desperately needy. I wilt without some kind of fuel. I am clawing at the rice truck. But accepting my condition for what it is has been the start of something equally good and wonderful in my life. It’s been a reality check of sorts.
Since November is the month of counting our blessings and eating massive amounts of non-spiritual, yet profoundly satisfying food, maybe it’s also a good time to ask what has been sustaining our souls. Are you in the hard-but-happy place of having nothing but God? Are you fighting to feast upon him when everything else in your life is beautifully appetizing? As you eat your stuffing and pie and other carbohydrates this month, I challenge you to remember the True Bread.
I for one will not be on a diet this year.