Monday, September 27, 2010

What has God got to do with Chicken Rice?

I was talking to a close brother in Christ- Edmund Nai on prayer and  I found it easy to ask him why I often felt so 'distant' from our heavenly Father. He asked me in return- "What do you teach about when someone asked you how to communicate effectively?" Interesting as I could sense where he was leading me with this abstraction exercise. I listed the following: Need to be honest and real, genuine interest to discuss, keep an open mind, active listening, waiting, pacing, body language, willingness to accept no response, not be judgemental, etc.  The logic than became a clear fit for me- have I practiced the above if I was genuinely communicating with God. Wonderful points of reflection!  Hearing God's voice was something we desired and he shared the need to have a strong desire and pure heart, laying aside our pre-conceptions and focus on communicating honestly with God as a process for spiritual growth.

Before we closed, Edmund invited me to close my eyes and ask- "What does God FEEL towards me?"  I clarified- 'think' OR 'feel'? Yes FEEL was the focus. In order to 'feel close' as that should be nothing that can hinder us from the love of God since the redemption has already been paid on the cross.  I was excited and ready, but was I really ready?   I prayed and asked but somehow, was unable to clear the olfactory, tempting,  distraction- wonderful fragrance of chicken rice that someone was dining in a nearby place. Quite shamefully, I opened my eyes and confessed that I was distracted .... by the smell of chicken rice. Edmund in that instant shared that he actually felt the urge to remind me while I closed my eyes that sometime God uses the immediate images to speak to us- and this had nothing to do with the chicken rice then.  He indicated that since what he felt was exactly how I was 'stuck' in that moment-  perhaps that 'smell' was so distinct and it really did not happen by chance. And perhaps this was also God's creative way of speaking. I closed my eyes and asked again, "God how do you feel towards me?". This time, the smell reminded me of how much I delight in food and that immediately connected to how God delights in my happy giving- giving to others, to enjoy fellowship or simply being who I really am- a happy and creative individual. I found peace in this strange yet comforting sense of understanding and chose to accept it. The next moment I opened my eyes, the guy eating the chicken rice had already left.

This unusal yet powerful experience was a timely reminder that we serve a very creative God.  While I often teach others to use the Visual Connections as a creative strategy to find new ideas, little did I know that God can use the same trick to enlighten me too!  If God places in me a desire to seek for novelty, than the Father of all Creation can use this same disposition to creatively connect with us- in a way that is most easy, comforting and close to our hearts. Unusual yet, beautifully meaningful at a personal level.

Creativity is the ability to look at the ordinary, and see the ... extraordinary.
Dewitt Jones