I had now accepted the assignment, but God wanted more.
You need purification. Transformation is a good word. It is obedience, which at its fullest is transformation.
“What does that involve, Lord?”
Putting Me first rather than last. Living every moment, making every decision, in response to My call.
“How do I go about doing that?”
You know this—start every day with prayer and let prayer guide you through the day.
There is another way to listen to God. One day, when I was fatigued from travel, I was told to take a day to rest.
“But I have so much work to do, Lord.”
Always listen to your body—it is also My voice.
I have not found it easy to live my life fully in tandem with God. Every day there are items on my personal radar, and I usually attend to them first, and fit God in when I have a chance.
One morning Abigail called breakfast and I held off, due to one of God’s seemingly arbitrary commands. “Is my husband becoming a holy man?” she asked with more exasperation than reverence. “I already am,” I said, in the sense of having a divine call, “just a very bad one.”
“Lord, I know I should try to live each day in response to Your purposes.”
That is right. Not just to do it mechanically, like a soldier following orders, but to do it as an organic flow, wishing to be in touch with Me and to live in accord with My will, My love.
“Yes, I always think of You ‘pushing’ me, rather than my being ‘drawn’ to You. I respond to orders rather than seeking union.”
That is good. The shallow seeking of union with Me is a delusion. The goal is to be “in tune” with Me. The work will flow from that. This is not just a matter of doing your duty. It is coming into alignment with Me—like two singers doing a harmony.
When philosopher Jerry L. Martin heard God speaking to Him, people said – Really? A real Voice?
What did it sound like?
God: An Autobiography, As Told to a Philosopher – is the true story of a philosopher’s conversations with God. Dr. Jerry L. Martin was a lifelong agnostic. But one day he had occasion to pray. To his vast surprise, God answered – in words. Being a philosopher, he had a lot of questions. And God had a lot to tell him. Dr. Martin served as head of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the University of Colorado philosophy department.
Later I was told more about God at the Beginning.
Before I was a Person, I was around “for a long time.” First there was Nothingness, not just empty space—there was no space and time either. Out of Nothingness I erupted, “created” Myself. At that point, I was just pure energy, pure creative force, pure Being, Being itself. Space and time were created as a result of my Being. They were the frames of My existence. The physical universe spun out of Me by My overflowing. I am the to-be of all things. I was not yet a Person. I was not yet self-aware. I was amorphous energy flowing out radically in all directions. (Before Creation) I am pure spirit, sufficient unto Myself, and have no “body.” And I did not exist in a world with physical bodies. I felt I was lacking something—grounding, facticity, the blunt materiality, the standing-against, the hard edge to push oneself against, the resistance and friction that physical objects have. So, out of my Being, a world was spun.
The idea that there are many gods still did not sit well. “Lord, which are You saying, that there are many gods or many descriptions of God?”
They are the same.
“Manifestations of God?”
“But that means there is only one God.”
No, that is too simple. Open your mind. Do not assume your current categories are adequate. Imagine other possibilities. Do thought-experiments. For example, what if a being/beings do not have to be only one or only many? What other ways are there to think about it?
What other possibilities? I was steeped in Western philosophy, in which the great metaphysical debates have been conducted in terms of such concepts as the one and the many, universals and particulars, identity and difference, being and becoming. I constantly pressed God to explain things in terms familiar to me. Sometimes He did, but often he told me that I had to revise my concepts and loosen my logical constraints. These were the only concepts I had. Where does one go to get new concepts?
Similarly, what other ways are there to think about infinity, omniscience, and so forth. And, most fundamentally, what other ways are there of thinking about being, nothingness, existence, the power of existence, the act of existence, the force of creation? I will guide you, but you have to make the breakthrough. I can’t put new concepts into your head.
“Once again, why not?”
The human being is a …
I seemed to get a partial answer that was making sense in terms of what it is to understand a concept, but it was immediately erased, as if someone pushed the erase button on a tape recorder.
The answer is very complex and you don’t have time for Me to go into it all. You need to get back to work now.
Lunch break was over. The vague sense I had afterwards is that a concept is not a distinct entity, like a momentary thought or idea, that you might just zap into somebody’s head, but more like a pattern of mental behavior that has to be lived through, like knowing a melody.