When I grow up, I want to be Brennan Manning. Okay, maybe not, but the man is brilliant. I recently bought a few of his books that I hadn’t read before and have only just started the last of the lot.
I am on the first page. And I needed to stop and process something that was written. It may not come as revolutionary to you, but for me it made my heart skip a beat, made me smile and made me wonder if I’m doing it all right.
“Religion is a matter not of learning how to think about God but of actually encountering him.”
Whoa, is my initial thought. I think I’ve said it before, but I feel like a lot of my life is an intellectual processing of information about God but not a real encounter with him. There is the occasional encounter, but reading this quote makes me wonder something. It makes me wonder if we should do most of our learning through encountering our Abba. It makes me wonder if instead of sitting at John Calvin’s feet to learn, we should be sitting at the Father’s feet hanging on his every word.
I’ve got a friend who has never read a whole book except for the Bible. It isn’t that he’s unintelligent, but he simply isn’t as pulled to other books as he is to the Word. Someone commented to him that other books will help him to understand the Bible, but he smiled and replied, “Why use other people’s words to understand God’s? He’s spoken. I don’t need much more.” I admire him for that. I love reading and I wont stop reading other books, but there is something to be said for his desire to encounter God as God and not see him through the lense of D.A Carson or Joel Osteen.
Anyway, that tangent behind us, I am wondering. I am wondering if we’re too much in our heads and not in our hearts enough. We understand a lot of concepts. We understand the atonement and we understand the broad picture of salvation history, but how often do we simply encounter God?
I want to encounter God.
I need to encounter God.