Monday, October 19, 2009

The Box I Built for God...

How did the Creator of the universe, the Architect of humanity, my Savior, the great I AM, and all the other countless names and descriptions associated with God, become this whimsical ghost, friendly helper, and limited God? I have "defined" God within my terms and do or do not do according to the God I've made Him to be rather than the God He is.

The Box I Built for God as my Father:
I have become convinced that fathers play an important and vital role in any child's life. This in no way to diminish the role of mothers or to start a debate of gender responsibility, child bearing, and the like. In marriage, men are called to be the head, just as Christ is the head of the church. A terrifying and humbling idea when you stop and think about what that means. Leadership, strength, obedience, service, humility, faith, discipline, and all the rest of the traits that one can use to describe Christ. Naturally, this leadership and service would extend beyond the confines of husband and wife, but to children of that family. Parents provide warmth, comfort, protection, food and direction. The first characteristics of God that a child sees when they enter this world. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. We live in a fallen and broken world where our own selfish desires take priority. Why? Because it's too much, more than we can handle on our own and that's why we need Him.

But who is He? What can He do? How much does He love us? Does He even love us? Maybe He just doesn't love me... and if He does, what if He decides not to anymore? Or maybe you're outlook is not that grim and He's just that magic genie who will grant your every wish and if He does not... then maybe He's not as powerful as He seems or maybe you don't believe enough for your wishes to be granted.

I don't know if this applies for all, but I feel that maybe it does. I'm no theologian, I have no seminary education (in fact, I'm still shy of my regular bachelor's), I wouldn't be in any preferred Christian clubs if they existed (real or unspoken), so all I have is what little wisdom I have from growing up in church and what God has placed on my heart and this has weighed on me as of late. Who I've made God out to be is a blend of what I've been taught, what has been revealed to me in church, my time with God... and who I am as a son of my earthly father.

Like I mentioned, I feel that parents, especially fathers, are to be an earthly representation of who God is... how we are to be loved, valued, cared for, protected, disciplined, guided, and shown how to love and honor God. With that said, I've realized how I interact with God and how that so strongly reflects how I relate with my flawed earthly father. I won't go into my father and his flaws because we are all flawed, but I have seen where God is not him and how I need to separate God from that.

The reason I write this is because I know I'm not the only one. I've seen it in my wife and in others as they worship and pray. It's not always bad though, and this isn't a father bashing session, but a realization of what "father" means and who God needs to be in our lives as the Father. I've seen people view God as friend, King, unmerciful ruler, strong, weak, lover, unloving, non-present, always there, not powerful enough, all powerful, Daddy, acquaintance, scholar, simple man,Mr. Fix-it, disappointed and unsatisfied, backup, last resort, protector, gentle strength, manly, womanly, laid back, strict, killer, Savior, prankster, non-responsive, childish, stuffy, hippie, judging, accepting, Republican, Democrat, Liberal, peacemaker, warmonger, lucky, unlucky, selfish, selfless, present, non-existent, lazy, hardworking, unconditional, conditional, bound to fail, unfailing, and so many more. So many times these views are created by the earthly fathers we have.

For me... I torture myself to please God, not to glorify Him, but for His "acceptance", though I am already His. I fear and hate failure, yet tear myself down the moment it happens. I wait to be made "perfect" so I can be worth something to Him. I leave Him to do my own thing, because I'm used to learning and figuring things out on my own. Because of this I leave Him at church and in my bible and isolate myself. I find comfort in solitude, but long for His companionship and discipleship. I long for Him to hold me in His arms and hug me, not metaphorically like a warm breeze, but physically. I want Him walking next to me and I actually want to look over and actually see Him.

I know for a fact that I will be a flawed father one day, but I hope and pray that I can exemplify enough of God for my family to see Him and to seek Him to know who He is and how much greater He is than me and that my flaws do not reflect who He is.

"God I need to believe that you love me and accept me for who I am now. You love me in sin and in failure. You lead me when there is total darkness and I feel alone and all I have is the light at my feet... not knowing what the next step will hold. I don't want to just touch your cloak, but to run and hug you tightly... and if I am unable to run to know that you will run after me. I pray that you will not let me close my mind to who You are and all that You are. Let me see Your truth and not what has been presented before me. I want the Holy Spirit to be my guide and not question where we are going and when we'll get there. I want to live more than a pop culture trend, the American dream, a social networking status, a "good life", or recognition of the world. Let me have faith to close my eyes, open wide my arms. Give me strength in You and in You alone. Let me please You and not the world. Let me see the facets of Your Fatherhood. Thank you for your forgiveness. Show me the way. Amen"