Conversations while driving

I’m an admittedly poor pray-er, and my car is one of the few places in which I’m “distracted enough to focus,” and actually engage in meaningful conversation with God. I’ve had two particularly hard-hitting ones of late, and wanted to share them in hopes of encouraging you all, for the lessons therein are both personal and universal (because God is crazy-cool like that):

Conversation One:

(After nearly getting mowed over by another driver who, naturally, wasn’t checking his blind spot).

Me: ” God, if I’m ever in a car accident and get paralyzed, you’re going to have to keep me faithful, because I just don’t know if I could do it.”

God: “What does that look like? Faithfulness?”

Me: “I dunno, exactly. . .well, I guess I want to be able to be a witness in that circumstance.”

God: “And what does that look like?”

Me: “Why do I feel like I’m getting some kind of cosmic counseling right now? I guess it looks like. . .me being able to be consistently joyful and content.”

God: “And how do you get there?”

Me: “Well, I guess if you gave me. . .uh oh.”

God: “Lightbulb moment for ya?”

Me: “I was really just asking you to take away the physical and emotional pain associated with that hypothetical difficult situation so that I could be faithful without effort, wasn’t I?”

God: “Yes.”

Me: “Well shoot. That was some excellent Socratic questioning, God. Well then, never mind. If possible, may we hold off on any debilitating problems in my life for a little while? I can’t handle it right now.”

God: “You know that’s exactly the place in which I want you before debilitating circumstances come into your life, right? I want you to learn to rely only on me.”

Me: “Oh boy. Just kidding! I can totally handle anything that happens to me right now!” *slow to 5 mph below speed limit, becoming hypervigilant about the cars around me*

God: “You’re a horrifically bad liar.”

Me: “I think that’s ’cause you’re always all up in my head.”

God: “Partly. But part of it is that lying is now inconsistent with your character.”

Me: “Have you seen my character lately? I’m not exactly world-class in the ‘Christian’ competition.

God: “You can’t treat your relationship with me like a contest, love. You’re unique, and I therefore relate to you differently than I relate to my other children. But beyond that, when I say lying isn’t a part of your character anymore, I mean it. Yes, you’re a sinner saved by grace. . .but I’ve called you a saint. I’ve broken the power of sin in your life, and any engagement therein is therefore antithetical to the person I’ve declared you to be.”

Conversation Two:

Me: “So, God, about the whole marriage thing. . .”

God: “Yeah?”

Me: “Will you at least tell me? I don’t care all that much, either way, but I hate not knowing.”

God: “Yes, you have informed me several times.”

Me: “Yeah, and a lot of good it did me. You’re awfully obscure sometimes.”

God: “Only about life’s filigree.”

Me: “So you say. Only I think we disagree as to what’s important, and what is, as you say, mere ‘filigree.’ Awesome word, by the way.”

God: “Thank you. I know you’re a vocabulary nerd. . .So what does our disagreement tell you?”

Me: *sigh* “Yeah, yeah. I’m wrong, per usual.”

God: “Are you sulking on me?”

Me: “Yes. Sorry. But since we’re talking about it, anyway, and since it’s apparently not all that important to you, I’m going to go ahead and cast my vote for ‘marriage.’ Preferably to someone I like.”

God: “I never said it wasn’t important to me. I just said it wasn’t nearly as important as the main things, like being in relationship with me. But beyond that. . .tell me this, kiddo, are you willing to stay single for a lifetime if it means you can do great things for me?”

Me: “Oooo, you mean like being a sweet writer, or starting an awesome charity? Like Philip Yancey or Mother Teresa? God, I’m totally down! Thrilled, in fact! When can we start?”

God: “Listen carefully, dear one; what if this thing is only great by my standards? What if you are single and serving alone in a slum somewhere, underappreciated by even those you serve? Are you willing to choose a lifetime of perpetually delayed gratification for my sake?”

Me: *squirming* “Well, the idea of facing a really hard life alone doesn’t thrill me, to be honest. But I guess my life until now has been pretty easy, so I guess it’s about time some suffering comes along. It’ll probably have to be pretty big to make up for all the great things that have happened so far in my life.”

God: “When will you stop thinking of me as Someone who doles out misery simply for its’  own sake? When will you stop assuming that I want everyone in the world to be miserable, and therefore, anyone who is happy really has it coming to them? When will you start trusting that I know best, whether your life circumstances are happy or difficult? When will you start giving thanks for where you are, rather than dreading hypothetical bad things that are going to happen, or demanding that good things happen, because you have ‘paid your misery dues?’ That’s not the way I work. Right now you don’t get to demand blessings for sufferings encountered, or expect suffering as a ‘payment’ for blessings given. In heaven, it’ll all make sense. But right now, I’m just asking you to trust me, no matter what. Why can’t you get that?”

Me: “Are those rhetorical questions. . .?”

God: “Take a lesson from Job, sweet girl.”

Me: “In the hand-over-mouth respect, I presume?”

God: “That’s the one.”

Me: “Ok. . .how does this sound? You’re right, I’m wrong, I don’t get it, and frankly, it ticks me off, but I’ll deal and trust anyway?”

God: “Good job, kiddo. Just trust this: everything in your life is a direct result of my love for you. You can’t recognize perfectly pure love because you aren’t perfectly pure and even the best relationships in which you engage are only faint imitations of my love. You can’t always sense or see my love, but my desire for you is not to suck up these life lessons and work yourself into a state of submission out of fear. . .my desire for you is to actively bask in the fact of being  my love for you and to be transformed by it. It’s not easy, but it will be so worth it.”

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5 thoughts on “Conversations while driving

  1. Hi Lauren,

    I can appreciate your conversation with God. He is real and personal and we do have conversations with Him, however I am not certain most people understand that, but I am glad you do and recognize Him and Him in you! Great.

    As far as your conversation, I would like you to know that I have 7 lovely daughters, equal to you. God has chosen them and you, for now, to serve Him and Glorify him in a Mighty way, a way you can do best being single. Some of my daughters even vowed to give the Lord so many…like X amount of single service. That took faith. They have done well. My daughter Brooke, in China, said, well, I will get married when I find a guy with a bigger vision than mine. Good for her. She would not be happy being the spiritual leader and in charge in marriage. She is dynamic and God is using her greatly. My daughter Tiffany has influenced many people. LeeAnn, BreAnne and Emily are in Taiwan right now. They are giving God’s love to so many children. More than I could have reached. God is giving great fruit through great works. I want you to know that they all would love to do my life, get married and have 10 kids and they all would be great mom’s. God has not chosen them for that, at least not yet. In His time. As there mom, I would love to have them live my life. But I do not want any of them to marry the wrong person, someone that could wreck their lives for what God has planned for them. It is hard to wait. It is hard for them to press toward the mark of the High Calling of Christ Jesus.But they are waiting on God and obeying Him, the same as you. So, keep having your conversations with your God. He loves you. He knows what you need, He is faithful. I will pray for you too. My daughter LeeAnn has asked me to find her a husband before she gets back from Taiwan. We joke, and, not even I can find her a guy. I too must trust God. So with my lovely daughters,I will pray for you too. God bless you and be faithful and do greater things than I can do. Cindy Martens.

  2. This is definitely my favorite post of yours that I’ve read so far!
    I’m glad to know I’m not the only one with whom God seems to use the Socratic method. I’ve definitely had conversations very similar to both of those in recent months.

  3. “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”
    ok. nevermind. Please pardon my illiterate buffoonery. 🙂 feel free to go ahead and delete these extra comments.

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