Some days I’m not so sure about being on a team with God. First of all, he’s not as obviously visible and vocal as another human being. It can feel like I’m talking to myself: “Ok, God, if I understand correctly, I head this way and you head that way and then we will meet over here.” And trying to listen to him? Well, it sometimes sounds like this: “——————-.” Apparently he hasn’t read all the books about how our current culture operates. He might have a better understanding of how to function in society if he had. With that better understanding, maybe he’d fit in a little better. Maybe he could take all his strengths and even become as successful as Google – with all those unique qualities he has: being everywhere at the same time, knowing everything, being able to do whatever he likes (creative genius behind the concept of the world and all …).
But I signed up for his team a long time ago. I signed up for his team. He didn’t sign up for mine. In moments of complete clarity there is nothing I’d rather be doing.
We think we are so smart, so evolved, so ahead of every society that ever came before us. God is old, really old. He hasn’t quite caught up to the way we deal in information overload and fast-paced environments. He doesn’t know the way we communicate these days. If he did, he’d know we are an extremely intelligent people with hurting souls, and who really needs a soul (it’s like an appendix, perhaps it had a function once but might just cause us health issues if it doesn’t get removed). He should learn from us.
But then there is a dream that follows me like a shadow around the city, even on a cloudy day. In it there are children, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and neighbours laughing with each other in the streets coloured with trees and flowers instead of advertisements on abandoned beer cans. The empty shop fronts and derelict buildings are housing unique and bustling businesses that are birthed through the creativity of a community. Creased foreheads have been smoothed from peace and hunched shoulders of desperation are pulled back in hope. Heaven, it smells like heaven. It is a place to belong that stores up so much love that it comes up from the ground in springs of a playground on a hot day for everyone who passes by.
It is unrealistic. It is a fantasy world that we know couldn’t possibly exist because the world just does not work that way. And yet, as fast as I run and no matter where I hide, that dream stalks me, sneaks up on me and crouches in wait before crashing over me – in beauty, in life, in belonging, in the essence of the dream. Caught up and overwhelmed by the dream … that is where God speaks, reminding me that my role is not as complicated as I over-think it to be and his is far more complicated than I could ever imagine. He knows what he is doing. Do I know what I’m doing?
He has bigger dreams than me and has set into motion creative tides of change that have swept over our universe again and again. Should we both be visible and standing side by side I would only be noticeable if he made me noticeable. We aren’t playing together to win some sort of intellectually clever competition. We are playing to see whole communities bought back in hope. Perhaps it is us who haven’t caught up and he is way ahead, groaning over our archaic ways.
Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong … Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God. ~ Ecclesiastes 5:1, 7