Sunday, July 25, 2010

On Coincidence

I have a friend who said once that people will pretty much see God in everything. He meant this as a sort of validation that God isn't really anywhere because people will actively choose to see him where and when they wish. I have another friend who says that it's just as easy to see "not God" in everything. Meaning that people who need to can go out of their way to ensure that God isn't present in their lives.

I see God a lot.

I also go through a lot of phases where I either choose not to see God or am apathetic to his presence.

That being said, I'm pretty stinking thankful when I see Him. Today I went to church with Adam and Cindy, Sean and Prang, Isaac and Nathan, Abbi and Eli, Anica and Lu and Pan (I grouped them all because dang we had a lot of people in that car). We went to a Australian church service in Chiang Mai that was populated by some Thai, some Burmese, a bunch of farangs (white people)... and then the pastor proceeded to preach on exactly what I've been grappling with here on the blog and in my life. I don't mean he touched on the same theme. He went straight for the jugular on the stuff that I've been dealing with. It was funny and creepy and hugely affirming. Adam told me it sounded like the pastor had read my blog and then decided to preach on it.

I saw God in that service. You could tell me about the coincidental nature of it, that it was just reinforcing my inherent bias to see what I want to see, that I would have heard the same thing from someone at some point somewhere. But I really don't care. At that moment I experienced the relentless love of a God who was trying very, very hard to get my attention. To show me His love, to show me that yes he is disappointed in me sometimes, but that's really not the point.

I am so thankful for this kind of relentless pursuit because I am a very, very stubborn person. You tell me something once and I am most likely to say that it's nice but shrug it off and forget it. You tell me twice and I might even begin to think it's kind of important. You tell me something three times and I might start to acknowledge that something might have to be done with that idea.

God has literally spoken to me this week (through friends, family, the word, books, sermons) on my need to let go of my misplaced desire to earn favor and fall into grace on nearly a dozen occasions. And, now, after a dozen occasions, I'm kinda sorta starting to get it. He'll probably say it a couple more times this week and it's really nice to know that He's there, to see Him working to get my attention, and to know that He cares enough to keep telling me.

1 comment:

Adam Heine said...

"You could tell me that it was just reinforcing my inherent bias to see what I want to see... But I really don't care."

I like this. It's like, yeah, I can see how it might just be a placebo. But if it works, does it matter?