Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Parlez vous...?

I am learning a new language. It is an exciting, challenging, frustrating, neverending process that leaves me ecstatic one moment when I understand a new phrase and feeling totally stupid the next when someone addresses me and I realize that I have no idea what came out of their mouth. What were those people of Babel thinking? Ever since that catastrophic building project we have had to live with miscommunication, misunderstanding, ignorance, lack of interaction, unresponsiveness, and alienation.

Children often ask, "What language does God speak?" I have heard it said that he speaks to each of us in our own language. How comforting, how convenient, how little effort required on my part. I don't need the universal translator of Star Trek fame to understand and communicate with God. The universal mediator, Jesus, is hard at work making me acceptable to God. The universal Spirit is hard at work making our prayers heard. The universal creator is hard at working communicating his love. And I just continue on in my ignorant state? I think not. If I truly am desirous of being known as a resident of the kingdom of God, and not just on a student visa, or a visitor's permit, or even with resident alien status, then perhaps it behoves me to learn the language and customs of the culture of God. Why? The look on my friends' faces when I utter a simple phrase in their native tongue is worth all the hours spent conjugating verbs, and I believe my childish utterances are removing the cursed tower of division known as Babel, one brick, one verb, one sentence at a time.

What language does God speak? I believe it is a divine, direct, diverse, pure, and unlimited expression of his very essence. Naturally it is way beyond my ability to understand, but supernaturally...well that is another matter. And how does one go about learning a new language? You submerse yourself in the sound, you surround yourself with the culture that defines the language, and you get a very good teacher.

Lesson #1. the verb "to be." Let us start by looking at "I AM."

Thursday, October 07, 2004

This is just a test...

If you could say just one word and the whole world would listen, what would it be?

Okay, I know I ask some pretty insanely ridiculous heavy-type questions in my head sometimes, and more than that, I actually think about them for hours and attempt to answer them as well. It seems to be a particular quirk of mine. Go ahead, try it, it doesn't hurt, and it may actually lead you to discover some cool things.

Soooo...let's see. That one word, can I have two? Please? Okay, since I am asking permission from myself, I will allow it because I am quite lenient and after all, not trying to take advantage of myself in any way. My first thought was "Fear not!" That's a cool one because angels say it a lot and so does God. So it must be important. But if all the fear were wiped out in the world, what would that really accomplish? We'd feel better and get more stuff done. Hmmm. Nice, but I want more. So, let's try something more positive, like "Love others." Now that's a pretty profound one, and if everyone in the world listened and did that, wow, I do think we would have a whole different scenario happening. I don't know if you can get something more effective than that. Really. So why does it still not feel like that's the thing that would come from my lips if I was honest; it just feels like the right answer that you give in Sunday School - true, but not something I have sweat over, cried out for, and hungered and thirsted for it to be evident every day in my life.

And what, exactly, would that be? That one thought that, if I could just get it through to people, I would be happy to expire from this earth, knowing that I had accomplished all I could hope for and all I was meant to, because those words would be the very essence of me. They would live on and speak of everything I had tried to accomplish, to change. Well, I know it's a bit of a hard task to boil it all down to such a small snapshot, I mean, even God has a whole collection of books to tell us what he deems to be important. But remember, it's just an exercise, something to challenge the mind; it is not the final exam on judgment day.

Okay, I just sat here for 15 minutes trying to come up with something and this is hard! But I did hear a phrase in my head that begins to come close to approaching what I think I might want to say...

There's more...