Chillin’ With The Almighty

by Michael J. Klassen

So I’m sitting in a Starbucks working on this blog when a guy walks over to the counter to pick up his drink from the barista. “What’s going on?” the barista asks? It’s obvious that the customer is a regular.

“Oh, just chillin’,” he replies.

“Chillin’” is an interesting word. No, it isn’t a contraction for “children,” nor is it a reference to the soul food consumed in the American south. That would be “chitlins,” which, truth be told, are the small intestines of a pig that are steamed or fried to perfection.

Chillin’ means to hang out. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re doing anything in particular, although it doesn’t mean you aren’t engaged in activity.

A week ago, we explored the relationship between Adam, Eve, and God. Evidently, creation’s first couple enjoyed walks with God in the garden before they sinned. In the same way, you and I were created for intimacy with God.

The Hebrew Word For “Chillin’”

But Adam and Eve weren’t the only ones to enjoy walks with God. Genesis 5:24 tells us that “Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.” The same word for “walk” is used both here and in the passage about Adam, Eve and God. The Hebrew word, halak, isn’t a mysterious word. In fact, the word is very common—it appears over 1500 times in Scripture.

Although it may stretch the definition a bit, a modern translation of the word would be “chillin’. Increasingly, I’m coming to the conclusion that prayer is another way of saying, “chillin’ with the Almighty.” Although it can include formalized prayer with a concluding “amen,” it really means walking and talking with God. Chillin’.

Back in the day, I used to lead the music team at church. I realized that leading the team meant singing with one eye open and one eye closed. I led with one eye open, meaning I monitored the music team and the congregation at worship, and then made the adjustments needed. But at the same time, I led with one eye closed, meaning If I was worshiping God, the congregation would likely follow.

Chillin’ with the Almighty is like that. It’s kind of like walking with one eye open and one eye closed. I go about my day, but I also keep my other eye focused on the One who loves me.

So the next time someone asks you what you’ve been doing all day, and if you’ve been walking with God, just respond by saying, “Oh, just chillin’”.

10 Comments

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10 responses to “Chillin’ With The Almighty

  1. Georgie-ann

    Love it!

    …and, “Where DOES the time go?!!” … (it “flies when you’re havin’ fun!”)

    One of the hardest things about being a musician — (as one who plays their piano in solitude for the most part) — is that at the end of the day, when you look around, there is absolutely NOTHING to show for it! (As in, answering the question: “So, what did YOU do ALL DAY??”)

    You had a great time, the atmosphere feels brighter, you’re pretty sure God liked it, BUT what about the dishes, the dust and all such other matters??,…same as before. It’s hard to prove to someone else how valuable this time has been, with no concrete results to show for it!,…but you know it was.

    Prayer can be a lot like that, too. Maybe there are good reasons why the evidence left externally seems to be minimal. With “no one looking” we can be our sincerest selves, tell our deepest truths. And I can certainly relate to the one eye open/one eye closed scenario!

    I wrote a poem (really I think, God’s gift to me), during that high fever flu I mentioned to Eugene. If this is a good place to share it, I would be happy to do so. It’s not very long.

  2. Georgie-ann, I’d love to read your poem. Hope you’re feeling better, too.

    Marva Dawn wrote a book a few years ago about worship entitled, “A Royal Waste Of Time.” Sounds like prayer. However, I can also worship and pray (there’s a bunch of overlap between the two) when I’m being “productive.”

  3. Georgie-ann

    Since I had that flu back in the ’90s, I’ve gotten over it pretty well by now! It was a very long convalescence, however. But this remains, the poem: (unnamed as yet)

    My Love and I hide in the shade,

    Away from the glaring sun,

    Where it looks like others have fun,

    But really, it’s not what it seems.

    It’s much too hot for delicate, intimate blooms to proceed.

    Like orchids in the dim-lit forest,

    My Love and I hide in recessed rooms,

    Where quiet pervades and peace perfumes,

    What is hidden away, in sanctified space,

    While others are running an endless race.

    God bless.

    • Georgie-ann

      Thank you, Michael. I’m very glad you like this poem. I know it must be a little bit special, because it was more or less “God-breathed” in the way that it came. (The ending actually surprised me!) I wanted to share it here in order to have at least once fulfilled the Scripture:

      Matthew 10:27 “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.”

      as well as,

      Matthew 10:8 ” … Freely you have received. Freely give.”

      But (!), Matthew 10 also has some very strong things to say to those who do do these things: (so brutally excerpted that I owe you about ten thousand apologies!)

      Matthew 10:

      16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men, …”

      and,

      30 “… the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. …

      40 “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. 41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.”

      and,

      26 “… there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. …”

      20 ” … it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. … 22 … he who endures to the end will be saved.”

      I’ve obviously edited out, leaving only allusions to, most of the intense persecution references(!), but I do know that — in spite of one’s best intentions — it is easy enough arouse the problematic in “human nature” in response to “sharing God.” We are being admonished to be aware and to “trust Him with that,” so I endeavor to do so on both counts — share and beware — and trust Him.

      What more can we do?

      Pray for the Harvest!

  4. Georgie-ann

    I went through a time when I know that God was trying to slow me down. And I was willing, in a mental way, to be “in synch” with Him, but mostly wasn’t — and He would tell me so! (gently but definitely!) It was a little bit like trying to get in a groove slow dancing with someone else, I suppose.

    Mostly, I was unconsciously running “from this to that,” to keep up pace with the external world, out of habit and life-long conditioning. I think there was an under-lying fear factor, as well as that sense of being so “important” that the world can’t go on without me “being right there with it.” AND I was young and had a lot of energy and ability at my disposal — or so I thought.

    I can’t really say how it’s happened. A lot of years have flowed “over the dam” since then, but now I find myself waiting for God to move, or to move me, to be with me, before jumping into much of anything. I can trust that He is taking care of many situations that I pray for, and I leave more “in His hands.” I wouldn’t even want to “get out ahead of God” at this point, or try to do things without His collaboration.

    Many little things have helped in this, and I have found joy in sensing His presence being with me — so much so, that even my “default setting” has become to assume it by faith, even when I don’t “feel” much of anything at all!

  5. Georgie-ann

    I should add to the first paragraph, in the last comment,…like learning to synchronize dancing with a partner you think you can’t see or feel!,…wow!,…how do you DO that?!,…do we have other “God senses” that we don’t know about that will help us?

    I think God was trying to teach me about some, and they seemed to be connected to “stop, look, and listen.” …and have prayerful ears and eyes.

  6. Georgie-ann

    …and eventually grow a prayerful heart!

    Some of that older concept of “letting go & letting God” — (in faith and trust, if possible) — is good to balance an overly aggressive — (and possibly somewhat frustrated) — “can do” self-assertion kind of a faith programming.

    I’ve “sat under” both (pontificated) persuasions, and am very grateful for aspects of both.

    There is nothing boring or passive about life in the Spirit, in God. But it is to our advantage to be able to sense the dynamics involved in “where God may lead us,” to know when to wait and pray, & when to step out, or whatever else. Believe me, it is quite the adventure, and certainly not a predictable “one size fits all” formula!

  7. Georgie-ann, thanks for sharing your beautiful poem, and your thoughts. I think I’m a little wired like you. Sometimes it’s hard to let go when I think God isn’t following through. I’m learning that life in the Spirit is really a walk of faith–actively waiting on God to act when I’d rather take matters into my own hands.

    God bless!

  8. Georgie-ann

    “iron sharpens iron” … meaning I recognize what you are saying,…

    The problem with putting TOO much emphasis on things and results from a “my” perspective — even if a lot of prayer, faith and seeking God is involved — is that everybody else on earth has a will, eyes and ears, and a point of view too, and God has blessed them in the same respect of personal freedom allowed — (to be oneself, to make mistakes, and even to make good choices that just might be different from yours!). And so now we also have to “make room” for the existence of many many variables, and (when possible), to have respect and seek peace,…(I’m not even going to mention “love” here, although it’s crucial to “spiritual” success.)

    … and we all know how easy it is to find peace these days, just by wanting it! … iow, “not.” … (has anybody discovered that new “New Frontier” where we can all escape to yet? — the Wild West having been conquered long ago!)

    So, … our choices are: (1) to impose regulating authority over earthly chaos, which has appropriate applications and could (and should) be well-done prayerfully — (as in families, schools, delegated governments, work places, etc.) — but often is abused, as power is a corrupting influence to the unredeemed nature of man, or is ineffective due to lack of wisdom and rebellious impulses in the “underlings,”… and/or — because (1) rarely manages to “cover all the bases” these days — (2) to release the uncooperative elements to some kind of “larger adjustment factor” by which they might finally “learn something” or meet their “comeuppance,” while we might be considering finding a permanent hermitage, or (3) fight, spit, argue and resist while spinning a lot of wheels, wasting a lot of energy, repeating oneself endlessly until finally tiring of the sound of one’s own voice and beating one’s own head against the proverbial wall,…and then what?,…this is where “letting go and letting God” begins to start “looking good,”…

    … and what are we learning through all this interactive agony?,…

    John 14: 27,28 (words of Jesus)

    27 “Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]

    28 “You heard Me tell you, I am going away and I am coming [back] to you. If you [really] loved Me, you would have been glad, because I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater and mightier than I am.”

    I don’t think the world’s problems can be “solved” by us as human individuals,…they’re much too vast, and we’re simply not equipped,…each one of us is very complex,…each ethnic group is very complex,…while “bad” might be quite obvious in some cases, very often there is some precious “good stuff” interwoven in the mix,…so, what do we DO with all of this?

    …pray every single positive confession prayer we can muster up, repeatedly applying the Word as a soothing, healing, restorative, curative balm to needy situations, doing the “good works” we are able to do, while turning the problems we find AND our own emotions over to our own personal healer and restorer, (i.e., savior!), the Lord Jesus Christ,…

    “Letting go and letting God,”… much in the way that a faithful, devoted and trusting watchdog recognizes and loves its Master, and is contented in knowing that his Master is fully and faithfully standing behind him, will bring all of his “issues” (suspicious nasty people and things — barking) and “trophies” (old dug up bones and roadkill muskrats — proudly and adoringly placed before Him) and “love” (laying contentedly at His feet after an active day spent seriously “on guard”), knowing that truly all things are “in His hands,”…we just do our little and sometimes crazy parts,…but in a way, “it’s all good,” as they say,…because “God IS Good,”…

    The Faith of a Canaanite Woman, (regarding how a dog is blest!)
    Matthew 15:

    21 “Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew … 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.’

    23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, ‘Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.’

    24 He answered, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.’

    25 The woman came and knelt before him. ‘Lord, help me!’ she said.

    26 He replied, ‘It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.’

    27 ‘Yes it is, Lord,’ she said. ‘Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.’

    28 Then Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.’ And her daughter was healed at that moment.”

    Regarding the value of the watchman, (and the “faithful watchdog”):
    Isaiah 62:5-7

    5 “For as a young man marries a virgin [O Jerusalem], so shall your sons marry you; and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.

    6 “I have set watchmen upon your walls, O Jerusalem, who will never hold their peace day or night; you who [are His servants and by your prayers] put the Lord in remembrance [of His promises], keep not silence,

    7 “And give Him no rest until He establishes Jerusalem and makes her a praise in the earth.”

    God likes it when we “bring it all to Him!”

  9. Georgie-ann

    aaaand,…it’s always good to keep this in mind:

    (Love Your Enemies), Matthew 5:43-48

    43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may BE sons of your Father in heaven; FOR HE MAKES HIS SUN RISE ON THE EVIL AND ON THE GOOD, AND SENDS RAIN ON THE JUST AND ON THE UNJUST. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

    If God does this — and He does — can we not try to “adjust our attitudes” along these same lines?

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