Posted on: March 24, 2020 Posted by: vudfc Comments: 0

By: Matt Gordon

Enjoy God so that my view of him joyfully grows, and with that increasing view comes perspective in all things.

Dishwalla had this song in the 90’s called “Counting Blue Cars.” For all I know it was their only song. But it was a memorable one. For me this line sticks out: “Tell me all your thoughts on God/ ‘Cause I’d really like to meet her.”

What catches many is the pronoun used for God. In the Judeo-Christian worldview, along with Muslims, God is often referred to using masculine pronouns. But honestly, that is not the part that strikes me.

You may believe in God or you may not. You may believe in the God I believe in or a different one. Your God may be male or female or fluid or without gender or personal identity, or you may have many Gods with just as many identity markers.

But here for me is the question that informs my rule: Do you enjoy your God? Or, to invoke Dishwalla: Do you really want to meet God? That is what sticks out about the song to me—the narrator’s zeal for meeting their God.

For much of my life I believed in a God I had no interest in meeting. God was compartmentalized, like homework and eating vegetables, into the category: Things I Have to Put Up With. I don’t think I’m alone in this. My proof? All the angry believers out there. And I’m not merely talking about believers of Jesus—though that group (one in which I include myself) spew plenty of venom on God’s supposed behalf. There is the grumpy humanist and the disgruntled omnist and the temperamental pantheist.

There is a passage in Scripture that speaks about “abiding in God.” The image is that of a child reclining back against the chest—and by proxy, the heart—of God. It is loving. It is dear. It is tender. It is secure.

My own sons assume this posture on me when they are sad—and they become less so. When they are scared—and they become less so. When they are angry—and they become less so.

But for a long time, I’d lean back on God—usually when pushed by threat of Hell or unhappiness—and my fear and anger and jealousy and power-mongering were stoked rather than subdued.

I’m not sure what led this to change. Ancient creeds claim that the chief end of man is to enjoy God forever. Enjoy. God. These two words didn’t seem natural to me, but it is because I had taken all the meat and toppings off the sandwich and then complained of its blandness. I wasn’t following God in His completion—in fact, I never actually can—but rather I was subtracting winsome bits from Him. Things like joy and peace and love and contentment. And then less obvious ones like talents and flavors and music and beauty and laughter. God is more than our genial Uncle with whom our hearts fill with joy upon hearing of His future visit. But God certainly is no less than that.

When I made conscious effort not just to obey God or submit to God or surrender to God or put up with God, but instead sought to be awed by His beauty, His people, and the myriad works of His hand—the stars, the trees, the stories—well, it was Mozart filling the symphony hall, trees populating the forest and animals the trees; it was rounding out the idea of love with the personality of the beloved. It was leaning back against the chest—and by proxy, the heart—and our breathing melding into a single indiscernible breath.

And if God is the originator of all things, then God is also the “understander” of all things. Growing up, I was in love, for instance, with playing Nintendo. That practice led to very few real world skills. But I enjoyed it, at least there was that. Enjoying God is like having the youthful hobby of, say, woodworking. Not only is it enjoyable, it is useful as well. Joy comes from it, but so do tables and chairs and instruments and a shareable usefulness. If God is who He claims to be then enjoying Him is simultaneously the maximal version of joy, of understanding, and of utility possible. Or, put more simply: By enjoying God, I can properly enjoy everything and everyone else.

The Apostle John closes Revelation with this line: “Come, Lord Jesus.”

There is an excitement there, a hopeful anticipation that falls in line with the Dishwalla sentiment: “I’m on my way to meet God!”

Enjoy God so that my view of him joyfully grows, and with that increasing view comes perspective in all things.

(Quick Virus Application (QVA-19) – This one is pretty evident. God doesn’t get sick. Nietzsche claimed God was dead, but that would be a very ungodly thing to be. If God is God, He is above and beyond sickness and death. He is above and beyond then the things that encroach on my own peace. Which doesn’t help me a whole lot unless I believe as I enjoy Him, He enjoys me more. As I love Him, He actually loves me more and first. And that as I put my life in Him, He gathers me to Himself—I become above and beyond things like sickness and financial hardship and uncertainty and fear and even death. That isn’t to say I won’t experience those things, but it means I won’t be defined by them, controlled by them, owned by them, held by them. No, only God can hold me. Circumstances may take everything else I have, but they cannot take me from God. With His hand firmly on me, I have all things forever. And that is actually quite enjoyable to think about. Further, just as placing my life in His has allowed me access to a forever contentment, He has bought all that for me through the willing entrance into the very things He is beyond. God enters into my life, my world. God gave me transcendence by entering into pain, suffering, sickness, and even death. My enjoyment of God was free to me but not to God. He was willing to pay for it–to sacrifice for it. Again, this prompts the enjoyable thought that I can enjoy God because He first was willing to enjoy me–God loved me to death.)

This post is part of a series about creating and testing rules to live by. Click here to head to the first post and see the list of “rules.”

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