The Big Guy gave us five senses. We can taste, see, hear, smell and touch. I love the verse in the Good Book that says: "Taste and see that the Lord is good." (Psalm 34:8) He wants our relationship with Him to be real.
You can Google "peach" and learn about the fruit: its origins, its texture, its average weight and size, and about other characteristics. You could even go onto being a sort of expert on peaches by researching them and speaking to others who are experts on peaches.
However, there is no substitute for actually seeing an actual, real, beautiful, colorful peach; touching the fuzzy skin and feeling the slight "give" of the ripe fruit in your hand; smelling the delightfully fragrant peach aroma; biting down into the delicious fruit, feeling the peach juice run down your chin, sensing the sweetness of the juice and the meat of the fruit in your mouth; and even hearing the sound of the skin breaking open, the fruit tearing, and the slurping sound that you make in a futile attempt to keep the rivulets of juice from flowing down onto your fingers and into your hand.
In this exercise, we will use our imaginations, thinking about our senses, to stir up our thinking about the Big Guy. My aim in these blog posts is to provide exercises for the readers to take some time towards WAKING UP their spiritual lives. Some readers will take out paper and pen, others will simply process in their minds. I do want to encourage you to take out paper and pen in order to help you process more deeply your thoughts and to benefit more from engaging your mind and heart in your relationship with God.
The more deeply you engage, the bigger impact the exercise will have on you. Emails I have received from readers have attested to this as people have shared about tears running down their faces as they engage in the exercises, tears expressing an awakening of spiritual life and real relationship.
So, if you were to "smell" God, what would He smell like? Would He be the smell one smells after a fresh rain in the country, a smell of freshness and new beginnings? Would He be the smell of bacon frying and eggs cooking in butter, a smell of hearty sustenance for the day ahead? Would He be the smell of a gardenia flower, an intoxicating and overpowering smell of delightful aroma?
What would you say He "smells" like right now in your life? Why do you think that?
What would you say He tastes like? Be honest. Is your experience of God a mouthful of gravel? Is your relationship with Him dry and rocky? The first step in WAKING UP our spiritual lives is to make an effort to undertake some kind of spiritual inventory and explore why our walk with Him is where it is (or isn't). Would He taste like milk and honey, pure sweetness and joy? Would He taste like a lemon, bitter in view of your current life's circumstances? Would He taste like a tall glass of iced tea on a sweltering day, offering you respite and refreshment in the midst of the furnace of life?
What would you say He "tastes" like right now in your life? Why do you think that?
What does He sound like? Is He a sweet symphony, providing an astounding blend of orchestration for you in your life? Is He the sound of a single bird singing in the stillness of the dawn, calling your attention to Him and Him alone? Is He the sound of silence, seemingly aloof, distant and disconnected? Is He the sound of a gigantic waterfall, thundering ceaselessly, making His presence and power known and experienced?
What would you say He "sounds" like right now in your life? Why do you think that?
What does He look like? Does He look like a spectacular sunset, a breathtaking combination of color and light that fills you with a sense of wonder and appreciation? Does He look like the Grand Canyon, a vast and expansive presence that fills you with awe? Does He look like a Swiss Army knife, utilitarian, handy, helpful, even lifesaving?
What would you say He "looks" like right now in your life? Why do you think that?
What does He feel like? Is He cuddly and warm like a soft favorite blanket, wrapping you up with feelings of security and comfort? Is He slippery like a bar of soap, hard to get a hold of? Is He coarse like sandpaper, helping you smooth out some of the rough edges in your life?
What would you say he "feels" like right now in your life? Why do you think that?
Taste and see...
I hope the exercise above has been deeply engaging for you. That it has helped you grapple with your thoughts and feelings about God in ways that have been helpful. The passage I quoted at the beginning says "Taste and see that the Lord is good." In the exercise, I included what may be perceived as negative experiences of God through the senses.
It's important to remember that our experience of God at any given time may be colored by our circumstances. I put the words "is good" in bold in the previous paragraph because I want to stress that whatever our experience, that does not take away from the goodness of God. However, we need to be honest about our experience in order to be real about our relationship with the Big Guy.
As we WAKE UP our spiritual lives, draw near to Him, think about Him, and develop our personal relationship with Him, we will come to experience His goodness in deeper and more meaningful ways, even through very difficult times.