Intimacy With God

Posted: May 23, 2008 by Rich Landosky in The Journey
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I’ve been reading this book called I Became A Christian and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt.  The writer, Vince Antonucci has a great way of writing – very funny yet very pointed.  So, in this one chapter entitled “Monk” the author gives some background as to how the whole monk thing started and why monks move away from the world and live in their monasteries.  The basic premise of a monastic life seems admirable at first glance.  These men, in  their pursuit of living a deeply intimate life with God, saw the world as getting in the way.  The solution, get away from the world where their singular focus can be on God and living intimately with Him.  No other distractions to take our gaze off the Savior, to draw our attention away and onto someone or something else.  The desire of having a singular focus and passion that fixes on God seems to be what all of us a followers of Jesus should be after.

The problem comes when we look at the Bible and realize that Jesus has not called us to run away into seclusion from the world, but rather to live in this sin-stained world, amidst the muck and the mess.  And that’s where it gets hard.  The mess of the world can keep us from our singular focus and the deep intimacy with God that we crave.  Sometimes the mess is alluring and can pull our gaze off of God and onto the sin that looks and feels good.  It’s been happening since the beginning of time.  Anyone remember two people, a serpent and a piece of fruit?  Other times the mess just gets so . . . messy.  We lose traction and spin our wheels.  Or we get so busy trying to avoid the mud that it becomes our focus.  Keeping our focus amidst the mess is difficult.  Many of us just give up the pursuit after awhile because it becomes so hard.  We find some strange, warped contentment living and wallowing in the mess though it only gives a false satisfaction.  Others of us just abandon the pursuit of anything and go on to just “live life.”  

I really like the way the author concludes this chapter of his book on this subject of monks.

Monks have taught me that I’ve been invited into the dance of God.  It doesn’t come naturally to dance with God, and so I understand why monks flee off to be by themselves.  I mean it’s easier to dance with a partner on some secluded island.  But I believe we’ve been called to tango with God on a crowded dance floor.  That can be a very self-conscious place.  And there are a lot of distractions out on the dance floor, including people to bump into.  Perhaps it’d be easier not to dance at all.  And that is what many choose.  But many are disappointed, and I choose not to be disappointed.  I choose to dance, to dance the dance of the flightless monk.

So, what are your thoughts?  How do you dance with God on the crowded dance floor without succumbing to all the distractions?  What distractions are the greatest for you?  And what do you do to try and keep your focus?

  1. Ash Harris says:

    I agree with Rich completely about how interesting the ending of that book is. I’ve honestly never thought of this life as a “dance w/ God”. It made me laugh reading about dancing, knowing how church feels about it. I know that following the Lord’s steps is what we are called to do, but it is definitly hard. Sin seems so acceptable to the world today, which makes Christians think it is acceptable in God’s eyes…but its not. I feel that in order for me to truly “dance with God”, i need to constantly be in the presence of Godly people, who can encourage me in my walk.

  2. Alison Miller says:

    “Sometimes the mess is alluring and can pull our gaze off of God and onto the sin that looks and feels good…Or we get so busy trying to avoid the mud that it becomes our focus.”

    Wow that part really hit home with me! Sin does feel good, thats why its so hard to not give in to temptation. Also, sometimes i get so focused on trying not to fall into certain sins that i don’t focus on God. Since i’m focusing on the sin, it becomes easier and easier to slip back into it. I need to keep my focus on God because only He can give me the strength to stay strong in times of temptation!

  3. spadinofamily says:

    Hi, great BLOG. stop by mine someday.

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