Friday, June 27, 2008

When God Retreats

I have been reading a book called Empire Falls, written by Pulitzer Prize winner, Richard Russo. I don't know what brought me to the book, but I have been quite enjoying it, despite a rather naughty frat party description, the book has been enlightening about human thought, even venturing into religious views and desires of the heart. Today I read something that was so profound to me, I felt I needed to record it in permanent form to further burn it into my mind. I have been fighting off personal demons of a measure I have never really had to fight before and each moment of truth or realization about ways I can overcome my worst fears are very, very precious.

Here is the excerpt from the book: " suggest that while God never abandoned us, neither was He on every occasion equally present, perhaps because His continual presence is what we desire most - that is, to be led away from temptation, away from ourselves. We want Him to be there, ready to receive our call in the moment of our need: lead us not into....Whereas God, for reasons of His own, sometimes chooses to let the machine answer. The Supreme Being is unavailable to come to the phone at this time, but He wants you to know that your call is important to Him. In the meantime, for sins of pride, press one. For avarice, press two...
"When God Retreats" had seemed one of his finer sermons as he'd delivered it to his sleepy early congregation. Exhausted and happy, he could find little fault with it as a personal reflection. That God had trust him to lose and then regain his path had seemed a wise, beneficent gesture."

I too believe that God has to let us go from time to time, mostly when He sees we need it most, to know that we can do some things on our own, only if it is to call on Him.


Chandi said...

Beautiful Maria. Thank you for sharing that with us. I believe that God will test us and push us to reveal our strength and character, but that he will never leave us completely alone.

mom/caryn said...

It's an interesting thought.

Perhaps He let's the machine pick up... but, I believe He's home, listening to the messages as they're left, just in case it's something that needs His immediate attention.

You know what it's like when one of your children says, "Mommy, will you button this for me?" And you reply, "You can do it. I know you can. Just try a little harder." No parent responds the same way to every request for help. There are times when we need to let our little ones do things for themselves... to learn what they're capable of and to learn to appreciate their own strength and abilities.... but, when a child comes in the back door crying, in pain, unable to handle a situation on their own. We stop doing everything except taking breaths, and give them the assistance we can see that they need. (and there are occasions when even breathing seems to stop) I think our Father in Heaven is much the same way.

Carol Lynn Pearson wrote about this in her book, "Beginnings".
The poem is titled, "The Lesson"

Yes, my fretting,
Frowning child,
I could cross
The room to you
More easily.
But, I've already
Learned to walk.
So I make you
Come to me.

Let go now...
You see?

Oh, remember
This simple lesson
And when
In later years
You cry out
With tight fists
And Tears...
"Oh, help me,
Just listen
And you'll hear
A silent voice:

"I would, child,
I would.
But, it's you,
Not I,
Who needs to try

And so He retreats... but He never turns His back to us. He never walks away.

This is a great post, Maria. Thanks for sharing.