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Old 07-13-2002, 09:33 PM   #1
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thoughts on God and His role in our lives...

often times i have a hard time putting into writing what i'm think/feeling but this has been on my mind for a while so i thought i would try to expand on it a little...being as concise as possible of course.

i think that a lot of people want God to hold their hands throughout their entire lives, leading them in the right direction and opening all the right doors. they believe that God will answer all of their prayers, prayers for any and all decisions, and that everything will climax with your classic happy ending. while i have no problem with prayer, as i do it daily, i think this view is a bit skewed.

i've always seen God as more of a parental figure rather than a "best friend 'til the end" type of deal. (i realize of course, that at times, He is both.) my vision of God is that He's always two steps behind us (excuse my def lepard allusion). He is constantly watching us in our journey, but allows us to slip off of the path every now and again, only stepping in if we really get lost. He's always there if we need to look over our shoulders for some confidence or advice, but he doesn't come right out and tell us what we should or shouldn't do in life. He wants us to live, learn, make mistakes, and grow in both our relationships on this earth and in our relationship with him.

i firmly believe God gave us both free will and a brain with the capacity to reason because he wanted us to use them...not because if we pray he will do everything for us. "God is not your genie."

I hope this is somewhat coherent, I will respond to any/all comments/questions in due time. I will also help to try and explain anything that may seem cloudy, as i don't have the best way with words.
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Old 07-14-2002, 04:23 PM   #2
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Good thread se7en!!

I completely agree with you. A book I read a while ago (think it was by Yancey, not sure though) had a nice way of putting it. It was something along the lines of us being children learning how to walk. God helps us, and holds us up at times, but He wants us to be able to walk by ourselves. Imagine a parent trying to teach their kid to walk - they hold them up, and then let go to see if the kid can walk on its own, keeping close behind at all times. The child will try to walk, and if it stumbles the parent will be there to catch it and help it back up to try again.

I don't know if I explained that very well, but that was the general gist of it. I think God wants us to be able to walk for ourselves. A parent won't carry their child around forever - they want them to be able to do things for themselves. At times we will fall down, like the child learning to walk, but God will always be there to catch us and help us back up. We have to remember that this doesn't stop us from falling in the first place though. It's only by falling sometimes that we will ever learn to walk.
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Old 07-14-2002, 04:54 PM   #3
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I've always believed that god is the best friend, and the parental figure.


In a lot of ways we like to limit the role of god. Branding him as one thing or another. OVer the last few years, I've been very careful to try and broaden my view of god.


the easiest way to see god is that of the loving father. However, I feel that in any role in life that involves love, there resides God.
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Old 07-14-2002, 05:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Arun V


the easiest way to see god is that of the loving father. However, I feel that in any role in life that involves love, there resides God.


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Old 07-14-2002, 06:24 PM   #5
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many people think my attitude toward God is too casual.

God is like a parent watching his child ride on a two-wheeler for the first time. He knows that we are going to fall, but He's there to ease the pain when we scrape our knees. and He knows that the more we practice, the better we will become, but we will never be perfect.


God is not my genie. i seek Him only in very, very low times (which seem to be pretty often). He is there when i look over my shoulder, He gives me that nod, whether it be a "hey, you're on the right path!" nod or a "this is going to hurt you, but you'll learn" nod. but He's with it. gotta love Him.


i loved your post se7en, makes perfect sense to me.
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Old 07-14-2002, 06:56 PM   #6
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Very well said se7en-beautifully put.

About God being a 'Father'..I've always thought of Him that way, as a sort of 'replacement' for an emotionally unavailable and at times abusive Father. I felt it was inappropriate to do this, until a priest at my church suggested this very thing in a Father's Day sermon. He talked about seeing God this way if you are in a 'fatherless' situation of any kind.

I feel that God gives me unconditional love, and that's so important to me.
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Old 07-14-2002, 11:00 PM   #7
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thanks for all of the responses. it just really gets under my skin when people are convinced that "God will see me through it." No, you have to see yourself through it, sometimes with God's help. simply different philosophies or what have you. again, thanks for the replies.
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Old 07-21-2002, 09:33 PM   #8
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Re: thoughts on God and His role in our lives...

Hmmm....Se7en, I agree with some of the things you have to say, but there are some things that gave me pause. I'm not attacking you at all; there are just my views on some of the things you said. And I might have taken them in a way that you didn't mean them, I do know that typing can never express actual words and emotions. So please respond to anything.

Quote:
Originally posted by Se7en
i think that a lot of people want God to hold their hands throughout their entire lives, leading them in the right direction and opening all the right doors. they believe that God will answer all of their prayers, prayers for any and all decisions, and that everything will climax with your classic happy ending. while i have no problem with prayer, as i do it daily, i think this view is a bit skewed.
But didn't God ask us to pray to him with even our littlest care? I do understand what you are saying, but my view is more that we should pray to God about every decision and every little worry, but make up our minds whether we consciously hear God respond or not. I think that taking everything to God in prayer is an important part of Christianity that isn't necessarily so that we, as humans, become completely dependent on Him. I think that part of the Christian walk is more there because it's comforting to realize that nothing is too small to talk about; that nothing will get lost in the shuffle. I do believe that God does answer every prayer. Maybe not in a palpable, "revelation-from-God" sort of way, but He does.

Quote:
i've always seen God as more of a parental figure rather than a "best friend 'til the end" type of deal. (i realize of course, that at times, He is both.) my vision of God is that He's always two steps behind us (excuse my def lepard allusion). He is constantly watching us in our journey, but allows us to slip off of the path every now and again, only stepping in if we really get lost. He's always there if we need to look over our shoulders for some confidence or advice, but he doesn't come right out and tell us what we should or shouldn't do in life. He wants us to live, learn, make mistakes, and grow in both our relationships on this earth and in our relationship with him.
I have to disagree in some measure with this. I don't think that God is there to control every movement of life. But I definitely feel that, at least in my life, He has been there by my side, not behind me (so-to-speak). There have been many times when I have had the distinct feeling that He is walking beside me and will never let go of my hand. But that doesn't mean that He never lets me slip. It's almost as if he's letting me walk the path I choose and when I slip he's there with me. Not only to pick me up and to help me out of whatever pit I'm in, but to go through it with me. I also know that God does tell me what to do. He doesn't make it a decree that I must follow, but I feel that if I am in tune enough with Him and if I'm in tune enough with myself, the right answer to any question or concern will be apparent. And that, in a way, is God speaking, in my opinion.

Quote:
i firmly believe God gave us both free will and a brain with the capacity to reason because he wanted us to use them...not because if we pray he will do everything for us. "God is not your genie."
I definitely agree that God is not my genie, but I do pray to him all the time. Not because I expect him to solve all my problems and make the world a happy place for me, but precisely because I have a free will and reason. It is my choice to rely so much on a higher power who I do believe is there for me, no matter what I need.
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Old 07-24-2002, 03:19 PM   #9
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Re: Re: thoughts on God and His role in our lives...

Quote:
Originally posted by hippyactress

I think that taking everything to God in prayer is an important part of Christianity that isn't necessarily so that we, as humans, become completely dependent on Him.
My "beef," if you will, is with those people who expect everything to fall into place and be tied up with a little ribbon just because they took their problems to God. I pray about rather insubstantial topics, but I don't expect my prayers to make everything to work a-ok.

Quote:

I do believe that God does answer every prayer. Maybe not in a palpable, "revelation-from-God" sort of way, but He does.
Was it Garth Brooks who said some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers? Either way, I totally agree. Somtimes what we want/think we need are not what the Lord has intended for us. I think of prayer as I think of keeping a journal: It ALWAYS feels good to get things off your chest and out into the open, but you can't expect to get reply for everything you want, need, or seek advice for.


Quote:
... but I feel that if I am in tune enough with Him and if I'm in tune enough with myself, the right answer to any question or concern will be apparent. And that, in a way, is God speaking, in my opinion.
This is very well put, and I agree with you.


Quote:

I definitely agree that God is not my genie, but I do pray to him all the time. Not because I expect him to solve all my problems and make the world a happy place for me, but precisely because I have a free will and reason.
Very much the same thing I was trying to convey. Again, my "annoyance" is with those who think God IS their genie and grants to them any wish their hearts desire.

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Old 07-25-2002, 04:42 AM   #10
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Re: many people think my attitude toward God is too casual.

Quote:
Originally posted by Lilly
i seek Him only in very, very low times
Only?

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Old 07-25-2002, 09:50 AM   #11
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seeking Him

Quote:
Originally posted by Lilly
i seek Him only in very, very low times (which seem to be pretty often).
Lilly, I, too, await your further elaboration on this if you're inclined, but meanwhile, it is something I've pondered deeply. I learned a lot about truly humble communion when I accompanied a friend to his AA meeting. I've looked hard at the Twelve Steps, and the whole "recovery" process, because it is a fundamentally spiritual one. The reason it's relevant here is because of where it begins: when you've "hit bottom." And you don't have to be addicted to substances to have experienced that, of course.

"Very, very low" is pretty close to that place... and, because I'm thinking hard now about other people's spiritual lives -- and because I believe, as AA does, that God does not chase us with His embrace, we must seek it -- I'm examining what brings people to God. Or, for those already in relationship with him, closer to him.
Fact is, when you're brought low, you're face to face with how little you are, how little you have, how depleted you are. The problem has gotten way bigger than you are. And at bottom is where ya gotta recognize that the solution must be way bigger than you are. There's no one else to talk to but God, even if you aren't sure of His existence. That's an important place to be, if that's what it takes to learn that we are made of more than ego, body, brain. I converse with Christ all the time, but man, when my dad was terminally ill, I was "running on fumes", so to speak -- that is, on the breath of God.
More happily, if we have learned well, big *joy* can bring us to our knees, too... the birth of a baby almost HAS to make you think about God, doesn't it? It's okay to get through normal life thinking we're using our own resources -- all depends on your perspective. Gas is in the tank whether we understand internal combustion engines or not. But if we're driving out on the desert highway 200 miles from town, we're bloody well gonna think about fuel. Likewise if we're walking on that highway, and a car shows up.

Thanks for letting me ramble I've been away for awhile, but I'm still incapable of a short post.

blessings all,
Deb D
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