“But no, my people wouldn’t listen.
Israel did not want me around.”
Psalm 81:11 (NLT)
Wendy and I were recently out with a rather large group of people. At the table was a friend I don’t see often with whom I’ve enjoyed conversation about our respective spiritual journeys. We took the opportunity to strike out on wonderful conversation about a number of spiritual topics. As we did, a few others at the table joined along in the conversation.
I was rather taken back when another person in our party overheard our conversation and playfully expressed equal amazement that we would talk about such matters at this social gathering. Subsequently, this same person attempted to change the subject of our conversation two different times.
I have found two different types of individuals who behave as my uncomfortable friend at the table. One is the person who is described like Israel in today’s psalm. This person is just doesn’t want God, or conversation about God, around any where at any time. The other type of individual is not uncomfortable with things spiritual as long as they are kept well contained within a particular compartment of their lives (e.g. within the church building on Sunday morning).
I am reminded this morning of those who don’t want God around. I was not angered by our conversation-changing friend. I was just saddened at whatever obstacle they have lodged in their heart and mind. Today, I’m praying for that person and all who don’t want God around. I’m also striving to be the kind of man who might love such a person well enough to earn the relational equity necessary to engage him or her in a conversation that won’t create discomfort.