Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Yawning at Tigers

I just finished reading the book Yawning at Tigers (subtitled You Can't Tame God, So Stop Trying) by pastor Drew Dyck. This book was recommended to me by my online friend Bill (who is a pastor in Indiana). After I got a couple of chapters into this book I started to form the impression that there was nothing new or unique here, that I had read this type of book multiple times in the past. I think that sometimes when it comes to reading books for my devotional time, I am easily bored. I want something that will teach me something new, with a fresh perspective and exciting, practical illustrations. I oftentimes struggle with the "same old, same old". However, I decided to stop approaching this book as a novel, to be pored through in a couple of sittings. I decided to purposefully spend a bit more time pausing to think and consider. When I did that, I started to get a lot more out of this book and came to appreciate much more what its message was all about. Namely, it is easy to get bored in the presence of a God that we think we already understand. I was doing to this book what I so easily do to God.

From the notes that I took during my reading, there were some nuggets that I wanted to share.
  • When we approach God casually, as if he were some sort of cosmic buddy ... we demonstrate a dangerous misunderstanding about his nature.
  • We need intimacy with Christ - and reverence for him.
  • Instead of treating him (God) as an equal, we (need to) approach him with reverent awe.
  • We are sideliners - criticizing the real wrestlers while content to sit by and leave the enemies of God unchallenged.
  • Only when we gain a proper understanding of God's identity can we begin to appreciate the implications of his love.
  • Inevitably we project our biases and wishes heavenward and end up with a god who looks suspiciously familiar, a god made in our own image. We end up bowing before the mirror.
Ultimately, I came to appreciate my time with this devotional and found it valuable. I would recommend it to anyone who struggles with losing sight of God due to boredom, apathy, busyness, or the rut of routine. If you go through the motions of following a tamed version of God, relegated to a comfortable niche or pattern, perhaps it is time to once again come to know the true nature of the God who is pursing us.