Table for One

TABLE_for_ONEI have an old habit that I’m trying to break. I tend to drift off into thought about things.

  • about circumstances
  • about the past
  • about the future
  • about people
  • about God

Ask my wife. She sometimes asks me, “Where are you right now?” or “Where did you go?” Although I might be two feet from her in space, relationally I’m in another place. I’m somewhere else– just me and my thoughts.

I can even get lost in thought about my relationship with God. I think about the mystery.

  • about relational intimacy with God
  • about Spirit to spirit communion
  • about continual abiding with Christ
  • about spiritual dialogue with God

Even when I set aside time with God in a time of private prayer, I sometimes give attention to the subject of God instead of addressing God Himself. Rather than reveling in the privilege of engaging God personally, I sometimes relationally disconnect.

I can turn the table of fellowship into a table for one.

When I think about this in human terms, it paints a ridiculous picture. If I were to invite my wife out for a romantic dinner by candlelight, and then drift off into my thought world, I would be preventing either of us from enjoying relational intimacy with the other. Practically speaking, we would both be sitting at a table for one.

Life is relationship. The story of redemption is relationship lost and relationship restored.  God says to us, “The very best gift I can give is my Presence with you. I am with you always. I will never leave you.”

There’s asymmetry in my relationship with God. God is always fully present with me. I am not always entirely present with Him. But I am learning to enjoy the unspeakable privilege of being present with God—aware, attentive, receptive. I am forming a new habit of engaging God personally instead of thinking about Him abstractly.

I am starting to understand that God has made a perpetual reservation for me at His table of fellowship.

And it’s a table for two.

4 thoughts on “Table for One

  1. Sorry to be late – it’s been quite a week.

    Your post speaks to one of the biggest difficulties in Christianity – overcomplication.

    I think it comes from the fact that we have a Bible that is static – it’s a finished product, and the only thing that can be added is commentary.

    And boy, is there a lot of commentary! It’s somehow insufficient to simply accept the relationship as a given, as a ‘binary solution set’ – either you accept the outstretched Hand, or you don’t.

    And so we ponder the different aspects of something that was supposed to be as simple and direct as a waterfall.

    I like the Crocodile Dundee take on theology, myself – “God and Jesus and all the Apostles…they were all fishermen, like me. Straight to Heaven for Mick Dundee. Yep…me and God…we’d be mates.”

    And now, back to my daily readings from “The Cloud of Unknowing”.


    • You’re never late.

      Yes, “overcomplication” is the perfect word for it. I used to be the poster boy for “overcomplication.” I intellectualized God right out of my subjective experience.
      Then God surprised me with the profound simplicity of relational intimacy.
      You’re right. Christianity is not the systematic analysis of a static book. It’s a living encounter with the Person of God.
      Dundee utters the wonder of God’s accommodating condescension. There’s an eternal God of infinite power, staggering beauty, and blazing glory. And we’re mates.
      Thanks, Andrew, for your input.
      Back to “The Cloud…” 🙂

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