God is a verb

Ever since i can remember, my parents have read Daily Guideposts. Memories of them sitting quietly on the couch reading it, or sharing it at the table are vivid in mind. When i moved away from home, they would always give me a copy every year for Christmas. i still read it – not only because it makes me feel close to them, but also because the stories and thoughts contained therein can bring an amazing perspective to my life. 

Today’s entry by Brian Doyle for example, was brilliantly written. He stated, “I think mostly when I talk about God I don’t have the slightest idea what I am talking about. I think God is a verb and that the noun God is a mistake because I begin to think I know something when I use a word as a handle for that which cannot be grasped.” Wow. That rang into my head almost as if i had written it myself. i love words, and writing, and have always been very deliberate with my word choice. Brian Doyle’s devotional today spoke to that – to me. i don’t speak about God often, probably more so than anything because i find myself stumbling through my vocabulary looking for just the right words. So even when i do talk about God, it never seems entirely accurate. Like trying to color a picture with a box of colored pencils (can’t stand crayons), but you’re missing half the colors you need. In the end, you wind up with a picture of a blue Incredible Hulk in ripped board shorts and no one has any clue what it’s supposed to be! 

Maybe that’s the problem. We already have enough names, labels, and/or images in our society to represent what it is we are trying to explain or portray. So why then should we find it necessary to “noun” the One that created it all in the first place? The less i feel the need to clothe the idea of God in words, or color her image in with pencils, the more realistic i find her becoming. And just like that, God becomes not another person, place, or thing……but an action……the rustle of wind through the leaves at Triple D Farm, the smell of bait sitting on the bank of Lake Mitchell, the laughter of children playing, the soft snoring of a loved one, the panting of a couple worn out pups, or even the thud of barbells and bumper plates on the dojo floor. God is, my friends. God is. Not it. 

What’s in your room?

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

I had to chuckle a bit as i read that this morning. Not only because i actually do have a book/books in every room of our house, but also because as i’m packing to move to our new home, i’m realizing how many i actually have. The kids always tease me, “have you really read all of these books?!” And while technically the answer is no, i can honestly say that my eyes and thoughts have passed across the words/pages of every book i own. But of course “why” – becomes the question. Why keep lugging books from home to home and from room to room if, “A” you’ve already read the whole thing, or “B” you haven’t read the whole thing by now? Well, Cicero answered that for me this morning. 

Here’s another analogy – one you may roll your eyes at, but one that makes perfect sense none the less. What’s in your fridge – your cupboard? Food, right? And why is it important to have food readily available? Because our body requires food/nutrients to perform correct? And regardless if you’re eating food to perform as an elite athlete, or as a CEO to manage the millions of dollars your company controls, or as a mother to keep up with and manage 3 rambunctious kids, or as a neuroscientist working to develop a breakthrough on some disorder, or as single parent working 2 jobs to keep food on the table and a roof over your heads…….what you eat, directly affects how you perform. In other words, i can’t eat Oreos and drink Pepsi and the best at any of those things i just mentioned. We have to eat quality, to produce quality. Should it be so different with our brains? Feed your brain the likes of Jerry Springer and Pok√©mon Go, and it’s gonna perform like Jerry on the Go – feed it the likes of Bradbury, or Shakespeare, or Miyamoto, or Thoreau, and it will perform at that level of brilliance. It’s as simple as what goes in – must come out. 

So, what’s in your room? Do you surround yourself with the smell of ink laden parchment and the wisdom of the ancients? Or, have you chosen to surround yourself with the glow of modern day technology and another Candy Crush Saga level up?