God, I’ve realized lately that I really don’t know how to talk to you. I know that sounds funny for someone who’s been well raised in a solid Christian home, spent a few years in Bible College, said prayers almost every day of my life (at least those parts of my life when I believed in you or cared whether or not you existed), and has, on occasion, taught other people about God.
I don’t know how to talk to the version of you I believe in now. I don’t suppose you’ve changed in that time, but my understanding of you has changed and that leaves me with a bit of a gap when it comes to communication. It doesn’t seem like a new relationship should be fettered with old constricts. What was that you said about new wine in old wineskins? I never really understood that passage, but it sort of fits for this. Perhaps this relationship is like new wine, or perhaps it has finally seasoned to a sweet maturity. Either way, it doesn’t fit the old wineskin – the cracks are showing.
I need something deeper than what I had. I need something better than the formality of a courtship. I want to be able to give you the messy stuff and trust that you’ll stick around and believe I’m worth it. I don’t want to fear your judgement all the time. I want to be able to swear occasionally and not think I’ve sent you home disappointed.
I sure wish I could tell when you’re listening. That’s the part that often bugs me. Don’t get me wrong – once in awhile it’s really clear that you’re in the room with me. But more often than not, I attempt to pray the way I think I’m supposed to, and all I get from you is silence. I don’t like that kind of relationship. I don’t show up for someone who sits there stone-faced and quiet. It’s not worth it. I’ve got great relationships with people who are present when I talk to them – who respond and make me feel valued and happy. Why don’t I get that from you more often? It sucks. Really sucks.
I know, I know – it goes both ways. I suppose I don’t spend enough time listening to you either. I don’t wait for your reply. I get through my prayers quickly so I can move on to something else. I only take short moments to read the Bible, because I have so many other things to do. It’s easier to fill my time with other stuff, ‘cause maybe I’m afraid to hear what you’ll say.
Deep down, I have trouble believing that you have my best interests at heart. I keep thinking if I really listen to you, you’ll ask for too much from me. You might want me to change some of the things I really like in my life. You might ask me to sacrifice more than I want to sacrifice. So I just give you little snippets of time, because then you can’t take too much control.
But I’m trying really hard to believe in this new version of you – a God who likes me, likes hanging out with me, wants me to be happy, and thinks my passions and interests are worthwhile and not just a waste of time. So here I am, trying to get to know you better and trying to figure out a new way to talk to you. Bear with me if I don’t get it right all the time. And forgive me if I tell you to piss off now and then. I’m only human after all.