What if I met an alien? What would I do? I mean a real bonafide Dr. Who class of alien. I am pretty sure I have met plenty of the other kind. I don’t mean an alien that looks like us either. Definitely not humanoid. Maybe a little large and somewhat menacing. Robots count!
I know it would be a pretty intense encounter for sure. I would be desperately looking for any hint of its intentions! Am I a friend or foe? Am I a pal or a snack? Since I have no information on its abilities to defend itself, but it seems menacing, I am sure I would choose the flight over the fight response. Let NASA, the Army, UN or the IRS handle it!
But just for the sake of debate. Let’s say I can’t run away for some reason and I am forced to try and communicate with it. How am I going to do that? I would probably use some kind of gesture to let it know I mean no harm and do not wish for War of the Worlds to begin with me. Maybe a hands out…palms up kind of thing? Show that I have no weapons? Definitely wouldn’t move in for a hug or try a galactic fist bump. (How EPIC would that be though!- Would put E.T.’s little finger point thing to shame!)
The point of the matter is…I would definitely be very, very careful about how I approached it. I would think through every action, sound and gesture I would make because frankly it could mean life or death!
Now I want to Jesus Juke this metaphor. Because it leads me to an important question about my spiritual life.
God is not an alien from another planet. But in a lot of ways He is alien to us. He is bigger, stronger and knows way more about everything than I could ever hope to know. The bible says He is holy, which means in a way “separated”. After all He is the creator and I am the creation. So, in that sense He is pretty alien to me.
Now I understand the gospel and what it has done for us in this regard. It has brought those who were “far away” near to God. Jesus is the great reconciler of God and man and now we can approach this wholly other God and actually enter into a familial relationship. All of that still never ceases to blow my mind and I hope it never does!
But I have to say, sometimes I wonder if I haven’t taken my ease of access to God and trampled on it a bit. I mean just because I have learned some things about God and walked this journey of faith with Him, it doesn’t mean that I know Him completely. He is nothing close to being my peer. But so often I approach Him as if He is. Now please don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying His people should live in abject terror before Him (although there are a lot of biblical examples of just that sort of thing). That’s not my point here. My point here is that so often my relationship with God is dictated by me and my expectations. I come to God with my hoops and expect Him to jump through them for me. I have a box in my hand that I would like for him to fit himself in. My relationship with God is usually based on my own terms and conditions.
I wonder if a truer response in my faith would look more like what I described above with the alien. What if I approached God with the same careful attention not just to my actions and words but to the motives of my heart? What if my approach was one based on humility and acknowledgement of His awesomeness? What if I came to Him with my hands out and palms up and just surrendered? What if I really, I mean really, placed my life in His hands? Would anything change in my life? Would my walk look any different?
Just something to ponder from a fellow traveller. Journey on my friends!