I've snatched this from Jon over at "Stuff Christians Like"
#409. Treating God like Letterman treated Carson.
I recently read an interview with late night television legend David Letterman in Rolling Stone. The entire piece was fascinating, but one section in which Letterman described his relationship with Johnny Carson stood out to me:
"You know, there are people in everyone's life who you can't believe you have a relationship with, and you are truly in awe of them, because they are so iconic and so influential that you're just kind of pretending. You know if you behave the way you really behave, they would recognize that you're a complete dope and they would never have anything to do with you ever again. That was kind of the way I felt about Johnny. I was so worried that I would say something idiotic and he would just pull me out of his Rolodex. … I never got out from under the feeling that he and I really could be friends because I idolized him and I knew by any measure I would always fall short."
I thought that was interesting because in many ways, those sentences captured how I sometimes treat my relationship with God. Here, using excerpts from above, is what I mean:
1. "there are people in everyone's life who you can't believe you have a relationship with"
When people say that Christianity is weird, they're right. Faith is weird. The idea of having a personal relationship with the creator of the universe is crazy. That's a big, wild thing if you think about it and sometimes when I do, I can't believe I have a relationship with God. But I do and that's what God wants. A relationship, not a ritual or a reward system.
4. "You know if you behave the way you really behave, they would recognize that you're a complete dope"
Have you ever dressed up for God? We talked about doing that in college on Sundays when you wanted people to think you had gone to church, but have you ever done that for God? Dressed up some issue? Dressed up some desire that you think is wrong or not true or too big for him to handle or too small for him to care about? The key word in that sentence above is "recognize." At times, I am equally terrified of being recognized and never being recognized. That if God knew who I really was he wouldn’t love me and if no one knows who I am then I might as well be invisible. But he recognizes me. He created me. He knows me inside and out, the parts that are ugly and the parts that are beautiful and the parts I don’t even know exist yet. And he doesn't see a dope. He sees a son.
5. "they would never have anything to do with you ever again"
I think that when Christ died, the question "again?" died too. Although I fall repeatedly and feel shame at my weaknesses, God will never see that and reject me by saying, "Again? Again? Again?" I think that when Christ rose, the statement "again!" did too. How many times will God take me back when I fall? "Again! Again! Again!"
Go his blog for the rest of the post...(the numbers I skipped plus some - he goes up to 7) it was just really good and something that was worth reminding myself of. I probably need to read it again.