The Loudmouth Protestant

January 29, 2010

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know About You

You’ve heard the statement before. It comes around during the “Getting to know you, getting to know all about you” period. It’s the statement that you love hearing because when someone asks you that it means they really do want to get to know you. But for the intents and purposes of this post, “Tell me something I don’t know about you”, has nothing to do with our horizontal relationships and everything to do with our vertical relationship. You know, the one with God?

I just started reading “The Gift of Being Yourself: The Sacred Call of Self-Discovery” by David Benner. I was initially interested in reading this book because my colleague told me that the book helps you to discover your core sins so that you can handle them and move on with living a blameless life. This sounded pretty awesome to me. Of course I want to know what my core sins are. I was ready to get my enneagram on! But, as I began to delve into the book, the notion of finding out about my core sins took a backseat to finding out whether I really know God as much as I profess to or whether I only know about God. It’s a hard thing to take a look at yourself and figure out if you only know about God or if you know of God. Are you a Pharisee or a disciple? I meditated on that for a while and I continued to read until Benner brought up an  “ouch”-worthy point that some of us know God less well than we know our common acquaintances. Benner went on to talk about how relationships develop when people spend time together and how our spending time with God ought to be in the essence of prayer. But he pointed out that we treat prayer like a text message or an e-mail to God. We do a whole lot of talking about what we want and need and rarely much listening. We talk a lot to God but barely allow Him to talk to and with us. When we are having conversations with our friends, we always talk and listen, within the span of the conversation. We don’t just talk for 30 minutes and then walk away from the conversation leaving our friend with no opportunity to talk. (Or maybe we do and this problem extends to other areas of our lives.) But, when I considered it under that lens, that we handle our horizontal relationships better than we handle God, I had to stop and think about how I was going to bring that level of attentiveness and diligence into my relationship with God. After all, He is all I have. If I lose every family member and friend I’ve ever known, I will still have God. If I am trying to move from knowing about him and knowing of him partially, to knowing of him in whole, what can I start doing now to nurture the relationship and open the gates of communication?

It didn’t take me too long to figure out what I needed to do. I needed to ask God to tell me something about Himself that I currently don’t know.  Something I can’t read in the Bible or hear from a pastor, something deeply personal that only He could tell me as I result of my staying on Him like white on rice. Something He’d tell me because He wants me to know and because He wants to deepen my personal experience with Him. I decided that as part of my daily prayer time with God, I would ask Him, “Tell me something I don’t know about you.” I want to sit and wait for His answer with the same type of anticipation that I would with a potential suitor. If it means that I will wait all day for His answer, then I will wait. I will wait with my ears open. I will actively engage myself in waiting for God to tell me something I don’t know about Him. I will watch for His answer, I will listen for His answer, I will wait for His answer and set my mind on Him because I’m really interested in knowing something new about my God, because I am really interested in knowing God in that intimate way. A way that is personal to me.

The reality of the situation is, I AM really interested in God. I love God. I’ve said those three words to Him, over and over and over again. I love thinking about Him. I love thinking about thinking of Him. I love thinking about spending time with Him. I love thinking about His word and His history. But, I desire so much more of Him. I want to and need to desire more of Him because He desires more of me. It’s hard to turn your back on a love that strong. A love that loved you before you were even born. That’s love. A love that loves you regardless of what you do. That’s love. A love that sacrificed himself for you. That’s love. A love that knows everything about you and still desires to sit and talk to you and listen to you talk for hours on end about everything and nothing. That’s love. How could I not want to spend myself growing deeper in love with God knowing all of that and much more? He IS love.

And so today, I ask God and challenge you to ask Him, “God, tell me something I don’t know about you.” And watch Him take you into a whole new place of knowing Him, personally.

PS: In case you are interested in reading the book that inspired this post, here it is:

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