When I look at my spiritual journey, I believe that God was involved in this journey of mine long before I ever realized that I was. You see, even though I was brought up in the church, when I entered my 20’s, I couldn’t wait to test myself and the world and try to make it on my own – abandoning all the stories, teachings and wisdom that had been poured into me as a boy.
What I learned was that without God’s guidance, relationship and obedience to Him, we all fail that rest miserably.
What I now believe is that Jesus and I are involved in a relationship together. And even when I haven’t held up my end, Jesus never gave nor gives up on me.
Now, this week’s guest, Frank Muse was also brought up as a Presbyterian. As an ordained minister, he has spent years upon years studying why we do what we do. The Presbyterian view of infant baptism follows the logic that God claims us as His children before we can claim God. Therefore, it was God claiming me that instilled in me my understanding of our relationship.
However, today, Frank’s thinking on this has changed quite a bit.
For me, today, I look at my and God’s relationship as one where I come to His table. In this, I can’t worry about what I’m supposed to wear or how I’m supposed to appear before Him – I just need to show up. This is hard for me to wrestle with, because I can’t get it out of my head that God cares about how I appear. He must! (I would, at least).
The truth is that He is simply happy to see me show up.
This leads to one of my favorite stories – the Prodigal Son – where the father is overjoyed that his son has simply chosen to return home.
Frank takes this parable to another level and identifies with all of the story’s characters: the prodigal son, his older brother and even the father. In fact, Frank believes that the sole purpose of the parable is that we can one day relate to the father and rejoice when a prodigal returns.
Meanwhile, there is some comedy in the parable when we look at the ridiculousness of the younger son’s attitude and behavior.
Now, as I have been examining my own faith lately, I recognize that the only conduit I need to come before God the Almighty is my relationship with Jesus Christ. I am so incredibly grateful that God is actually accessible to someone like me.
On a parting note, Frank adds this nugget:
One thing remains true – When people decide to share, God creates abundance. When human beings refuse to share, there’s never enough of anything.