Yesterday as I rode the train home from work I began pondering the goodness of God (since I had spent my lunchtime blogging about it), and I became emotional (which is unusual for me) and suddenly I couldn't stop the tears from falling down my cheeks (which was incredibly awkward, as the gentleman seated across from me wearing headphones politely pretended not to notice).
I guess I was experiencing a 'my-heart-is-full' moment. (Or I need to have my hormones checked?)
As I sat on the train, I thought how ironic it is that I am writing this Series about God's love trying to persuade Christians that God is not an angry, distant, alien, judgmental, arbitrary Being.
I mean, of all people, Christians should know how good God is (!), how easily entreated he is, and how meek and lowly of heart and unpretentious and good-humored he is.
Would You Want God on a Road Trip?
Why don't we think of Christ as the kind of person we'd want to invite on a long distance road trip, who would sing along with our music and just talk with us the whole time about anything and everything, who would pay for gas without asking and never try to condemn or judge us, who would share a plate of halibut with a honey reduction sauce at the roadside diner and smile at us when we burp?
Instead, we treat God as if he were our boss from work, the one you watch yourself around and never feel comfortable with when you go out to lunch.
And so that road trip?
We leave God off the invite-list.
Time to Unfriend an Angry God
Isn't it time we stop clinging to an old-fashioned, archaic (even pagan) view of God ― like he's some sort of cosmic judge, jealous, who sternly sends his children to hell if they don't shape up?
When in reality, Christ is our Friend. Our truest, longest, and best friend.
You know, it has always astounded me that the Lord (who is the greatest of all) would consider us his friends?!
Ye are they whom my Father hath given me; ye are my friends.
What Are Friends For?
One night, a group of drunk, angry men dragged Joseph Smith out of his home in Hiram, Ohio.
They beat up Joseph, choking him, and stripped off his clothes. Then they tried to force poison into his mouth, chipping one of Joseph's teeth as he fought back.
The men took hot tar and covered Joseph's bare skin with it, then covered him with feathers and left him all but dead.
That's the backstory. Here's the part I find so memorable: in the dead of night, summoned by a friend's need, Joseph's friends spent the rest of the night cleaning off the tar from his body, an excruciating ordeal as they removed the awful stuff.
Jesus is that kind of friend: one who spends the night removing tar from our bodies.
Life is a Test?
I know, I know: the word "test" does not appear in the scriptures.
So why do we keep calling this life a test?
Because life is not a test!
We talk about this test as if we're high schoolers and our score on the final exam will dictate where we go to college (i.e., spend eternity).