How do you hold God at arm’s length?

I do it in many ways. Perhaps none moreso than by being busy…and especially busy with email, computers, phones…

In the past three weeks, my new laptop fried (3rd trip back to HP…I want a replacement). My cell phone had a little problem and by the time tech support was done having me click here and load there it was totally dead (I’m now re-loading apps on my 3rd replacement phone). Even my cherished hi-quality earphones got smashed (used my BestBuy rewards coupons to get a set last night). 

Clear message…God was reminding me that by staying “connected” electronically 24/7 I have been avoiding staying “connected” spiritually…to Him!  (Thank you, God.)

In the past year, I’ve been learning about spiritual disciplines. Somehow these weren’t included in my seminary degree. I’m learning that what I really want is God (not ministry)! And that choosing to be still is the one thing I can do to create space for an encounter with God.

In her fabulous book, Invitation to Solitude and Silence, Ruth Haley Barton nails my reality: “Depending on our experience of wanting things and then receiving them, or not, we may harbor deep-seated fear that we will not get what our heart desperately wants. It can be frightening to allow ourselves to want something we’re not sure we can have, especially if it is something as essential as the presence of God in our lives. In many of us, the fear of not getting what our heart longs for has led us to develop an unconscious pattern of distancing ourselves from our desire in order to avoid the pain of its lack of fulfillment.”

How do you hold God at arm’s length?

“Your desire for God and your capacity to connect with God as a human soul is the essence of who you are. But there is an even greater truth: before you were even aware of your desire for God, God desired you!”



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