Dialogue with God

LIVING AS APPRENTICES

Remarkable progress has been made in brain researchbilingual in the last 20 years, particularly in the study of bilingual brains. We have learned that if a person is bilingual,  both languages are active in the brain at all times. A bilingual person cannot shut off one of his or her languages.  If a person who speaks English and Spanish is talking to someone in Spanish, the English language section in his or her brain is active, too.  The brain has a remarkable capacity to keep the proper language operative.

As I mulled over this new piece of information, I thought about my desire as a Christian (and perhaps your desire) to listen to God in “God language” while I am actively thinking or speaking in “human language.” We always struggle with this concept – as if we have to detach from our human language to hear God language.   When we read about Frank Laubach’s experiments in keeping in touch with God or Brother Lawrence’s extraordinary ability to go about his daily work and still be conversing with God, we think about how unusually gifted those men must have been and toss off the idea of “constant contact” with God as impossible in the  21st century.

However, the fact that our brains can learn to listen, speak, and think in several languages and each of them is in operation at the same time, albeit “under the surface” seems a perfect metaphor for  holding our God language and our English or Spanish or French together in our  minds.   We can, perhaps, become spiritually “bi-lingual.”

This is such a strange thought that I hesitate to try to find logic to explain it. Here is what I risk hypothesizing.  First, Jesus seemed to be able to listen and even respond to God at the same time he was communicating with humans. He knew (or intuited) things about people who seem to have been strangers  (the rich young ruler, the woman at the well,  Zaccheus).

Second, it seems possible that if we know as much about God’s language, God’s way of communicating with us, as we do about English (or whatever language we speak), we, too, might be able to operate in those two languages simultaneously.  We can  be a blessing to others  if  we can draw on our communication to and from God at the same time we are communicating to others.

Third, it seems to me that the way we learn the language of God is through the practice of spiritual disciplines.  If we immerse ourselves in Scripture, we see how God spoke to others. If we make God the Master of our lives, we begin to recognize His voice. Living as Apprentices of Jesus, who was the Word, we can learn Jesus’ language for navigating this earth.  If are silent more than we speak, we can sort out when God is giving us direction. If we live simply, our brains have less clutter and more focus. Finally, in the same we know more about our friends, our spouse, our children by  spending time in conversation, the more time we spend in prayer and listening for God’s responses,  the more we will know about God.

We are created in the image of God and  thus equipped to be in communion with that same God.  Learning God’s language is possible and dialogue with God is life-changing.

This entry was posted in Living as Apprentices and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Dialogue with God

  1. Bill B says:

    Thank you for another amazing post. Watch out Richard Rohr! Your depth of insight connecting the things of news, science, and literature always amazes me and prompts me again and again to say Cheers to God for Karen Bables.

    PS. I am beginning the undertaking of learning French! It hurts my brain!!!

    William R. Boersma
    Minister of Care
    Christ Memorial Reformed Church
    595 Graafschap Rd
    Holland, MI 49423
    616-796-3351
    billb@christmemorial.org

  2. Thanks, Bill. You should be encouraged to know that the experts who spoke about the bi-lingual brain said that yes, children learn a second language more easily, but it is entirely possible for old geezers like us to become proficient in another language. When I heard that, I was tempted to put it to the test, but now that you are learning French, I don’t have to!

  3. Pingback: A Week In Review (last edition of 2014) - Apprentice Institute Apprentice Institute

Do you have a comment to share?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s