This week I’ve decided to undertake an incredible task! Well maybe not so incredible, but given my tract record of being an incredibly slow reader, it is incredible to me. I’ve never been an avid reader, not because I don’t like to read, but rather because I often find myself filling my time with less important things. I personally get bored if I read for too long, but I have a deep fascination for learning new things and absorbing knowledge. So I’ve decided that from now on, I’m going to read a chapter a day from two different books. One for professional development, and another for personal development/pleasure. It’s not much to those who seem to be able to devour books in days, but for me it’s certainly a stepping stone!
This week, I’ve been steadily working my way to finish the book “The Shack” by William P. Young. It’s a book based on the real life experience of Mack(enzie) Allen Phillips. He has an encounter like no other, where he meets God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, in a way unheard of before, and reconciles some of his greatest issues with his faith and his life.
In chapter 14 Mack and Papa (God) are talking about the idea of prioritizing God. I’ve heard it a thousand times, and I’m sure, if you’ve been in church long enough, or ever spoken to a religious person, you’ve heard “God should be your priority”; “Put God first”; and maybe you’ve heard Matthew 6:33 quoted “Seek first the kingdom of God…” All pointing to the idea that God should be number one on our list. That’s great and all, but it seems to me that the God I’ve come to know shouldn’t be constrained to lists, and orders. Put God first sounds like a nice notion, but I don’t think that’s enough. I don’t think God would settle for being another number on a list.
I read a while back A.W. Tozer’s book knowledge of the Holy, and in one chapter he talks about the transcendence of God; how God, by nature, is so far removed from creation in transcendence and holiness. We can rank all things in terms of worth or value (or whatever other rhetoric you choose) putting God first, then angels, and then humans, and then animals. While angels are holier than humans, and humans are (for sake of the argument) holier than say, an insect, we all fall into the same category. The degree of separation between angels and humans is nothing compared to the degree of separation between creation and creator. God, being the creator of all existence stands in a class all His own. He’s not at the top of the pyramid, or the first on the list, because He cannot be judged by the same rhetoric as creation. He is infinitely greater, larger, and holier than anything in existence. So then how do we, in good conscience, degrade God enough to find Him capable of fitting on any list?
Then I read this: ” ‘The trouble with living by priorities is that it sees everything as a hierarchy…If you put God at the top, what does that really mean, and how much is enough? How much time do you give me before you can go about the rest of your day the part that interests you so much more? You see…I don’t want a piece of you and a piece of your life…I want all of you and all of every part of you and your day. I don’t want to be first amongst a list of values; I want to be the centre of everything. When I live in you, then together we can live through everything that happens to you. Rather than a pyramid (or list), I want to be the centre of a mobile, where everything in your life-your friends, family, occupation, thoughts, activities-is connected to me but moves with the wind, in and out and back and forth, in an incredible dance of being.”
An incredible dance of being… We shouldn’t settle for setting God at the top of a priority, value, or to-do list. We shouldn’t make God an aspect of the day we need to get through in order for us to move on to our day. He shouldn’t be an obstacle, or hurdle you have to start with and end with. Sometimes it feels like devotion and prayer are an obstacle I need to get through at the beginning and end of my days so I can continue on. God should be so interwoven into our lives, every aspect of it, that life with him isn’t an obstacle course, but an incredible dance of being!
God, help me to experience you like never before. Saturate my life with your presence. Be so interwoven into my job, my life, my relationships, that nothing moves forward without you. Transform my relationship with you. Change it into the incredible dance of being that you long to have with me.