We all know people who seem to have mastered the art of brief and formal yes and no conversations.
These exchanges can be hard work because there’s no dialogue, no back and forward informal chatter with enthusiastic interruption and laughter, none of the kind of chat which builds relationship usually without achieving a clear yes / no right / wrong black and white answer.
This relaxed wandering chat is the conversation of friends, and this is the kind of constant dialogue Jesus wants to have with us.
The problem is that most often when we come to Jesus we’re seeking urgent clarity and approach Jesus with an agenda of tightly-programmed questions, and this usually after we’ve got the matter to be sorted down to two options having got rid of all the possibilities which are not to our liking.
I’m convinced that Jesus wants us to relax a lot more – I don’t mean relax into apathy, but to relax into rest in His embrace, to be still and silent for the time we give to prayer each day, letting prayer be not our method or programme or question but His work, a relationship of friendship growing in mature intimacy.
My reflection today is inspired by today’s first reading. where the context is heavy stuff – evil and the deadly consequences of sin. But God gently interrupts: “Come now, let’s talk this over, says the Lord.”
You might like to join me in practicing this today, relaxing in prayer and chatting informally with Jesus about whatever comes up, not expecting an answer or a clarity, but savouring the opportunity to talk it over with Jesus who is God-with-us.