I recently heard a woman talk about how she thought she was always last on God’s to-do list. She believed God was taking care of everyone else but her. He was doling his blessings onto everyone around her while she sat lacking. She thought for certain everyone else in her life was getting all the lucky, fortunate breaks while she remained stuck in an unsatisfying life. She was absolutely positive that God answered other people’s prayers and that hers ended up in His spam folder.
Until she got into recovery and met the God of her understanding. This God was not the same God she knew before. This God wasn’t selective and biased. He didn’t hold a grudge. He wasn’t easily flattered. This God was kind, loving and equal in His benevolence. He blessed everyone, forgave everyone and loved everyone, regardless of how they felt about Him.
I used to think that my God also tossed my prayers into the recycling bin. I was pretty sure that all those foxhole rants that I called prayers were rising up into the atmosphere and either evaporating into the ozone or falling on God’s deaf ears. I knew with absolute certainty that everyone else had a better God-connection than me because they were living better lives.
Until I got into recovery. Then I discovered that it wasn’t that God hadn’t gotten around to me at all. It was that I hadn’t gotten around to God. Wow! My mind exploded just a little when I had that realization. Me? Not getting around to God? But I had prayed. I had gone to church. I had even dropped a few bucks in the Salvation Army bucket. I had gone out of my way, inconvenienced myself ever so slightly to make sure everyone noticed that I was getting around to God. Sound familiar?
But that’s not what it’s about. At least, I don’t think so. I don’t think my God wants me to show off. I don’t think He wants me to be inconvenienced in an attention getting way. He doesn’t want me to take inventory on my good deeds and wait for public recognition. He doesn’t want me to do any of these things in the same way that He doesn’t want to throw a pile of money in my lap so that He can be lauded.
My God is humble. He works with me, not for me. He works through me, not above me. He gives freely, when I am ready to receive responsibly. He pushes gently, when I am stuck in fear. He guides my heart to generosity when the need is unclear to me. He mutes my bitter tongue and patiently places loving words in my mouth. He lets me see myself the way my husband sees me, love myself the way my children love me, and treat myself the way my best friend treats me.
All because I was willing to get around to God. You see, these things were always available to me, I just didn’t know it. These little gifts were lingering around the outside of my consciousness, always escaping my diseased, sick thinking. I couldn’t see them through my greed and pride. I couldn’t savor the sweet satisfaction that comes from being compassionate while choking on my need for recognition. I couldn’t feel the overwhelming peace of being alone with Him when communion was an event not an experience. There was no way I could have ever known the sense of gratification that comes from doing His work when I kept slapping my label on it.
Today I know that I can have as much God as I’m willing to get. I can go all in and and get all of Him in every area of my life. Or, I can dance around the pool of His glorious riches, dip a toe in and get a small dose of ease back. I won’t lie. I’ve done both. Some days I dance around the edge, unable to find the willingness to go any further than ankle deep. Other days – even if I’m scared and the water is frigid – I dive in knowing that the reward will be worth it. And so far, God hasn’t disappointed.
So, have you actively gotten around to God or are you still waiting for Him to get around to you? If you’re still a toe dipper, I encourage you… come on in – the water’s fine!