When I talk with my sister, two years my junior, I am amazed at the differences in our memories. My remembrances of our growing up are all ego-centric: how did everything affect me. Hers, on the other hand, reflect the experiences and reactions of the people around her, including how my actions affected others.
It is that innate self-absorption that has shaped my relationship with God. I make my big plans and then later think about how God fits in, instead of asking God how I might fit into His plans for me. It is a constant exercise in self-correction.
I was raised in the church. My grandfather was a pulpit-pounding preacher. Through my innocent eyes I could see the cracks where the preaching stopped and his life took over. I was quite young and very judgmental. Certain events stood out for me and I formed opinions, sometimes life-influencing, but I was incapable of seeing the big picture of anyone else’s life. He baptized me when I was 12. It was expected, I complied. I continued my relationship with the church as expected until I graduated from high school. Then I drifted away and was gone for over 30 years.
In 2002, I recommitted my life to a relationship with Jesus Christ, and found that He had been there all along, I had just been in the wrong relationship.
How does God talk to us? My mother used to make references to needing a bigger 2×4 to get my attention. Sometimes God needs a whole forest to get my attention! But sometimes it’s really easy. Sometimes God removes the obstacle from my path like clearing the boulders from a river and I can float downstream without fear of capsizing. That’s the way this direction feels. So right.