Tuesday, September 6, 2011

How do you illustrate God?

Think of illustrations in a children's book when I say the word illustrate. When you have to picture God in your head, what does it look like?

I know, for me at least, it often looks different every time, but a recent picture I had looked like this:
Imagine a car. Mine was a red corolla. Now, imagine you are in the passenger seat in the front. Imagine that God is driving. I didn't visualize what he looked like so much, it was more the idea of him in the drivers seat. Now, imagine your life on the road (like, we were driving around the loop in my visual and there were big green highways signs that said "CWIT" and "IV" and "STAT CLASS" etc.) Now imagine a tape playing in the car, with the voices of the people you interact with everyday (so, my roommate, my professors, etc.)

And then, in the midst of all that noise and signs pointing you different directions all around, imagine God slowing down, turning down the tape, and teaching you, slowly and carefully, how to drive. Talking to you about some of the bigger potholes in the road.

Isn't that a nice image? It came from a variety of things:
1. the idea of constant conversation with God. At first I thought this might be distracting, but then I realized he could sort of turn down the rest of the world, so instead of adding to the cacophony, he controlled it, like a conductor.
2. remembering college visit rides/driving to work with my dad. We would talk about all sorts of things. and he'd direct me on the road as I learned to drive. and occasionally we'd listen to Tim Keller sermons and discuss them (or skit guy podcasts). And I loved those drives.
3. trying to micro-manage my schedule. That's where the street signs come in - I have a ton on my plate and it reminds me of trying to change lanes on a highway - everything is zipping by and EVERYONE wants my full attendance, full attention, full participation. It's just not possible. So if I miss one exit, it's OK - God's driving.

What ways have you illustrated him recently?


Liz said...

I like the thought of God as a conductor, especially when thinking beyond his ability to turn down the cacophony. A conductor is often the music director as well, and chooses the repertoire the ensemble will be playing. He interprets the piece, and conveys his interpretation to the entire ensemble. While each musician undoubtably has their own opinions on how the music should be played - and even on which music should be played - the decision of the conductor is what matters most of all. Frequently the conductor will not micro mange - there are certain decisions left to the musicians - but the conductor is always there guiding the direction of the music.

Lotus said...

Liz - that's totally cool! I love the images where God has control, and in what ways different people perceive that. As a non-musical person, I always sort of wondered what the point of a conductor was - I think your analogy can even extend to those who think they don't need God and play to their own beat (or something similar).