I have had the privilege of journeying with a G-d consciousness for over 65 years. How it came to me so unencumbered I cannot understand. So many around me seem either without this rich relationship, or locked so rigidly into religion that they fear being transparent with their beliefs. In that context, my journey may seem rather bizarre to most, at least when I attempt to articulate my joy. If I try to mask this inner conversation for the sake of respect for the “real world,” the frustration becomes almost unbearable; especially, when I look at the results of so many lives invested apart from the Spirit. Something then seems “shut up in my bones.”
Each decade, if not each day, has been a time of experiencing God in a way that at this age seems quite unique. I have trusted that everyone has available a similar journey, as I suspect the love of this great God is parceled out equally to all humans; but in my case, the grace to seize upon every moment, both His blessings and my blunders, as a means to know God, now seems daily even more extraordinary.
Somehow my life and spirit have been kept open to exposure and inputs from such a variety of venues, professions and initiatives. This was brought to my mind yesterday when I received an email asking for an update on my life. This individual had sought me out some 15 years ago, asking that I participate as a Pentecostal in a week long engagement with people of all faiths. Of all places, it was to be held at a resort called The Enchantment in Sedona, Arizona. Another friend, when I shared the opportunity, paid my way given that I had just made a life change that limited us financially. As I get older and reflect on these life experiences, it seems that I have been favored, at least relative to what I brought to the table!
When I revisit my somewhat obscure childhood days and the moments of investment that individuals brought to my life at critical junctures, I know that something or someone has been at work on my behalf. Mrs. Hill, my eighth grade teacher, who commented just loud enough for me to hear, “Ask Johnny, he always has great ideas.” Her voice is forever locked into my head. Then as I “matured,” the principal, Doug Elmore who reached out to me, encouraging a young teacher’s involvement in a local prayer breakfast. From there, a pastor who visited our home, (we were newlyweds), his intent was to get us in church. He would later be instrumental in opening leadership opportunities that would engage my ideas at a national level.
Then there was a conversation with a coach, relating his graduate experiences, encouraging me toward a master’s degree; a neighbor from the local Chamber, steering me toward community development during an internship. That would lead to an administrative opportunity to serve an entire community. All this compounded by a deep love for Creation, an inquiring mind and passion for science, perhaps instilled by my rural up-bringing, a Dad who loved to hunt and uncles who had the land. Yet the more I learned the more audible the faint whispers became, first heard at nine years old. Was this the God of the galaxies, deepening my awe, encouraging a calling to journey with this great Being?
Who can define God, encapsulating such power in a way that a human brain could relate? How can that relationship grow over time when one so blessed as I am, constantly abuses that relationship, misconstrues the path set before him, daily needing to be parented? Yet, in all this, I have come to know such deep love and yes, devotion toward me personally.
How can it be, and how then could I dare withhold such knowledge of this friend from others? Yet, there is a tendency, perhaps a fear that I might be thought arrogant or worse, a selfish motive, not wanting to miss a moment of experience that could otherwise be mine. Do I keep silent, denying this deep and profound evidence of His leading in my life?
Each morning I am confronted with this challenge, though greeted afresh with a friend that sits over the heavens, awaiting another day of relationship with me. Why would I even think twice?