Invisible Man on First

Bloged in apprenticeship, community by rod Tuesday October 14, 2003

Quiet time. Time spent with God. Prayer. Why is it all so hard? This relationship often seems to be one in which two people try to force themselves to like each other – like we’ve been introduced at a family reunion and left to spend the day as if we have something in common. Seems that if we could learn to be comfortable with God as our Father and Friend, we would be more comfortable with having to go to Him for guidance, help, forgiveness.
I remember childhood friendships that never required coaching. I remember spending hours playing wiffle ball with a friend without a curriculum. You topped the bat toss, you hit first. No acrostic to help us remember what to talk about. Invisible man on first. Do you think Tony Perez could beat Tony Dorsett in a game of make-it-take-it? Could the Cowboys beat the Reds in basketball?
No specific location where all is just perfect. The tall pine tree is a home-run. The boxwood is a foul ball.
Yes, we need intentional, planned, routine quiet time with God, but when that gets so forced that it seems like an exercise - when we dread it like we should dread the idea of not being with God, we need just to relax and be with Him the way friends can just be together. We need just to enjoy Him. I believe He is glorified in this.
I used play guitar with friends for hours. Hang with the baseball team in the dorms playing guitar for hours. How can my guitar playing for God become so theoretical? Why do I have to justify it as worship?
I know what I mean by it. God knows my heart. Why do I have to worry about what someone else doesn’t understand?
I’ve learned that approaching God this way provides an astounding realization. His willingness to let me count Him a friend somehow leads me to the knowledge of my unworthiness to be counted His friend. I realize how He is meeting my real needs, and so I begin to relax and have fewer perceived needs. I feel a peace that only He can provide. Yet He has asked me to come to Him as a little child. As a child who is well taken care of, I ask what any kid would ask of his dad, “Wanna play some wiffle ball”?
“Invisible Man on first”!

© 2003 rod lewis

Scouting the Congaree

Bloged in worship by rod Tuesday October 14, 2003

This evening I rode down to the Congaree swamp to “scout” location for my advisor/advisee prayer day on Wednesday. Two rivers in two days. I go down there about once a year and walk around the boardwalk. Its about an hour walk for 2.4 miles of some outrageously beautiful sights and sounds. This is one of the largest intact stands of old growth forest in the country. It also sports some of the tallest trees with some world record Loblolly pines measuring 174 feet high.
I’ve seen incredible birds, deer, snakes (I once had an encounter with a “cotton mouth” in a canoe that would take all night to tell about), and even a herd (?) of wild pigs. Tonight I saw a squirrel with a black raccoon face. He asked me what I had for lunch and I lied and told him a baked potato. Ok, I made up the part about lunch.
So, having found the perfect location for Wednesday’s deal, I sat and watched and listened and thought. We will be talking about being alone with God. What a great place to be alone with Him. Here are 22,000 acres of protected old-growth forest. On Wednesday afternoon, there will probably be no other humans in the park.
As I sat under a tree dripping moss, staring down the creek and listening to the birds, and crickets and tree frogs, I thought about all God’s creation praising Him. The cypress tree: “raises his ams in a blessing for being born again”. Thou burning sun with golden beam, thou silver moon with softer gleam, ye lights of evening find a voice. I remembered 20 years ago sitting at the fire beside the Cranberry river at about 2:00 am with Travis, the river playing a constant background against the night sounds. Travis asked me if I thought the river made any noise when no one was around to hear it. It occurred to me that it wasn’t for me that the river was singing, I was just fortunate to enjoy the song that it sang day and night for its Creator. When no one is around, there it is, alone with God, singing praises.
Let all things their Creator bless and worship Him in humbleness. O Praise Him. O Praise Him. Alleluia.

©2003 rod lewis

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