Sunday, August 16, 2009
An FYI To My Typical Mormon Brothers & Sisters:
Now that I have your attention, let me just share a few things with you that you may not understand.
Black folks talk to God. Oh I know we all do, I believe, for the most part, we all call it prayer. We talk to him through prayer.
BUT... we also talk to him out loud. We have conversations with him. We express feelings to him. We please with him. And yes, sometimes we even debate with him. It's not weird to us to speak his name out loud and communicate with him as if he is right next to us. We do it while shopping, exercising, crying, laughing, doing laundry, cooking... you name it... we talk to him whenever we feel the need. Maybe it's a cultural thing?
Our mama's do it. Our Grandmama's and Great-grandmama's did it. They did it in the Cotton and tobacco fields. They did it in the Massa's house. They did it behind is back and under his roof and out loud and in their own homes. If I'm to believe he is with me always, why wouldn't I audibly burst out in conversation with someone who is with me?
I bring this up because it is not strange for me to start a conversation with "I was chatting with God the other day about so-and-so, and he told me...."
Or.... "I was about to do such-and-such, but God told me to close my mouth, sit down and be still instead..."
I have seen the raised eyebrows and questionable looks. I don't mind them because I know the heavens are opened. I know the Lord communicates through his Son, Jesus Christ, through his prophets and apostles, and through us, his children. I can feel his spirit with me so distinctly when that communication comes from the Lord. And it NEVER fails me. There have been times it has saved my life and the lives of those around me. I have learned not to question it and to obey it. Sometimes it is an Audible voice. So much so that I will turn and see who is speaking to me. Other times it is a thought, impression or feeling from within that leaves me no doubt or fear and an urgency to heed it's command.
What I have learned from talking to the Lord is that he wants me to communicate back. When I don't understand, I ask questions. Sometimes I joke and laugh. I figure he's given me my personality, he knows me, he expects me to be me. I also realized that my communication with him is for MY sake, not his. I have an obligation to come to him, confront him, ask for clerification and understanding. He knows when I am ready, willing and able to seek out his will. However how vain would it be for me to expect HIM to come to ME and grant me knowledge and understanding.
It disturbs me when I hear people say.... "Well God hasn't revealed to me any such things" My first response is.... "Well have you asked of him??" Someone once had the arrogance to say... "well he's revealed so many other things to me I'm SURE he would have let that be known if it were true." You go right on ahead and think that. We have an obligation to COME UNTO JESUS.
In past postings I've done this. I used to have a little sign on my bedroom door:
(Ask. Seek. Know)
How arrogant and selfish of us who expect knowledge to be dropped upon us without seeking out the answers for ourselves. The Lord knows us well. We do not speak to him for his benefit. We do not sit on our skimpy knowledge of him, the world and heaven and expect to know All there is to know of him just through reading the scriptures. Our journey as mortal beings is a life long education. The scriptures are our text book. I have been to many educational classes in which the textbook was given out for instruction. However, it is when I indulge in the lecture from the professors where I get the deepest understanding, those intricate details, and a deeper more clear meaning and knowledge.
I believe the Lord expects us to ask questions. I believe he expects us to speak to him formally and non-formally. If I am to believe he is my father, which he is, should I not be expected to speak to him as such. Just to be clear, I do believe in formal, proper prayer. I also believe there are times when the conversation comes out how it comes out and it is just as valid.
As I sat listening to my grandmother talking when I was in Michigan...it wasn't just jibberish. Everyone once again she would say... "Lord, have mercy on me." Some people would say this was using the Lord's name in vain. I have heard many times... " Oh, my God." I have seen the circumstances in which the phrase was used. Many times it was a plea for patience, help, security, strength. There may not have been a folding of arms or a kneeling but it was indeed a communication with the Lord.
There have been times when it's used as an expression and not a communication. This is what I believe to be in vain. I guess intent is how it's defined. And sometimes we are BAD at defining intent.
So if you see me walking down the street or sitting alone talking and you don't see anyone around me. TRUST ME, SOMEONE IS THERE!