No Particular Place
I’ve been reading in Genesis a lot lately, the stories of Creation and progression through the beginning. I’ve noticed a few trends early on in the Bible, it seems as though God is deeply connected with His people. The Bible says that God and Adam walked in the garden together, and it seems as though every major character that follows has conversations with God. Abraham and Noah are almost always in constant contact with God, in conversations through out the day. The writer suggests that this isn’t a prayerful kind of connection, but rather an audible conversation. When Adam and Eve sin in the garden and hide, God goes looking for them. He is turning over bushes and climbing up trees, audibly asking “Adam, where the heck are you?” Like a father looking for a lost boy at the circus, God searches for Adam.
In Genesis 27, Jacob screws his brother, Esau, over for their father Issac’s blessing. Esau gets upset and wants to kill Jacob, so Jacob runs for the hills. On the run, Jacob stops and rests in no particular place and God speaks to him through a dream. So even after deceiving his family, God is still speaking to Jacob. A few chapters later in Genesis, Jacob has a full-on physical encounter with God as he wrestled him throughout the night.
Before that, God tells Noah to build the ark for the flood. They make a covenant together.
God was in constant communication with his people.
So I ask, what has happened?
Is God being silent? Is God only speaking to a select few? Or are we missing something here? Who is documenting the voice of God for the future? And with all these voices out there, how can we know if it really is God’s voice?
I recently turned in a resume to get a job that I would really love to get, and before I turned in the resume I sat out in my car and decided to pray for what was about to happen. I turned off my car, set my resume on my lap, and laid a hand on it and closed my eyes. I can’t really describe what happened next. It was like I uncorked a shaken up bottle of champagne, words from God just began to explode into my mind’s ears. Like God had filled up my voicemail box with some certain instructions and was just waiting for me to listen.
And you can call me crazy, because I don’t really care.
But I knew what I was doing was right, regardless if I get that job or not, God let me know I’m heading in the right track. He told me.
I do believe God is still in constant contact with His people, everyone, because I am no one special. I am just a confused young man who tries to make sense of what is going on and passes it along to you via a web. I believe God still speaks, I just don’t think very many people are listening.
Sitting in the car the day, nearly brought to tears by all that God had to say, reminded me of the nights I couldn’t sleep. The nights where I would stay up all night, tossing and turning, not because of being cold or the volume of the TV, but the conversations going on in my head. It’s hard to stop listening to God when life slows down and everything is quiet. It is however easy to turn and run away from those instructions.
I was talking with my friend one day about spirituality and religions and all of that good stuff. The topic of fate and destiny got brought up. She asked if I believed in fate (everything that happens is by chance) or destiny (everything that happens was always supposed to be). I told her that it was probably a little bit of both, because I have felt that God has definitely pointed me in certain directions in my life, but I often times ignore those directions. But the first time I ignored His voice and went my own way, it wasn’t long after that I heard His voice again. I told her that I think that God has a very extremely detailed map for our journey but when we miss the signs and directions, God doesn’t throw the map away, He just draws up a new plan. I also thought that the end of the journey isn’t always the same as the original plan, but God is always wanting to communicate with us, and He is always trying to get us somewhere that is good for us. Easy? No. Good? Yes.
When I was in middle school, I felt God calling me to be a youth minister, so everything from that moment on was driving in that direction. I later transferred to a Christian private school thinking it would boost a little college resume action, attended a Christian university, and got a job at a church. I regret none of these actions, I think I lived in a peaceful communication with God in these times. But while I was working at the church, I decided that I didn’t like it. The key word in that last sentence is “I”. It was I who made a decision, not God. So, I dropped out of college, thinking I would return once I knew what “I” wanted to do with my life.
For the record, “I” still haven’t gone back.
And I think that moment in my life set of a whirlwind of confusion that is still going on today. I haven’t’ felt that same peace from God like I did then until just recently, and even that is more of a glimmer of what it once was. I think the reason for all of this isn’t because God is trying to punish me for ignoring Him, but simply because “I” have been ignoring Him. I feel as though God has done nothing but forgive me, and draw up a new map. I think I’ve been running from Him ever since I dropped out school, probably crossing a couple time zones in the process. But fortunately for me, God is still there with a plan. I may have got a little of course, but God still has direction for me, He still has a plan.
And just as He did with “Jacob”, in no particular place, He is still speaking to me after I screw over my brothers and sisters. Still communicating. Still moving in the foreground when I am trying to push Him to the background. Still keeping me up at night. I just have to shut-up for 10 seconds and let the floodgates open.
God is around every corner, in every song, in every conversation. He is in every sunrise, in every animal, in every breath. He has not stopped speaking to us, we have just stopped listening.