Rss feed

Subscribe to our Signposts-only RSS feed.


Wide Open Spaces: Beyond Paint-by-Number Christianity by Jim Palmer



As a small non-profit with a big mission, we rely on the generous gifts of supporters like you to help our ministry prosper and grow.

Donate to


Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Jim Palmer

Saturday, November 27

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
—Romans 11:36


Without realizing it, I recently discovered I have been operating in life on the premise of a two-word lie. The lie is, “God and.”

Let me explain.

I often compartmentalize certain aspects of life and living into a “God” category. Then there are all the other things I identify by simply beginning with the word “and”—“God and ______.” 

God and stressful work demands. God and this needy person pushing into my life. God and this slow waitress who hasn’t refilled my coffee. God and this lady on the train in tears. God and this pesky neighborhood kid who I don’t have time to talk to. God and this twerp in front of me who is driving 10 mph slower than the speed limit. God and my daughter who wants me to watch High School Musical with her…again!

What if it isn’t “God and,” but “God as”? In other words, what if it’s God as the demanding superior, high-need friend, slow waitress, crying woman, pesky kid, driving twerp, and insistent daughter? What if each of these is God mysteriously reaching out to me in some way? What would it mean to live life welcoming everyone and everything as an opportunity to know God? What if everything in my life is yet another prompt reminding me of God’s presence?

What would it mean for me to be totally tuned in as I go about my day? What if the distractions, aversions, detours, and unexpected are as much God as anything else I might assign to that category? There's a Zen adage that points to the importance of an undivided consciousness: “When walking, just walk. When sitting, just sit. Above all, don’t wobble.” 

The “God as” mentality would say, “When waiting for your coffee refill, receive the slow waitress as God in a restaurant uniform…or God as your needy friend on the phone, or God as the woman in tears on the train, or God as the co-worker making life difficult, or God as the neighbor with the barking dog.”

Paul wrote in Colossians, “All things were created by God and for God.” If all things are created by and for God, then all things prompt us toward the reality of life in God. No more God and, just God as

If this is true, something is going to have to change about me. I’m going to have to be more consciously aware and present to the people, places, and things of my life as they are happening. Too often in my mind, I’m off somewhere else, doing something else, with someone else. Once I remove the “and” category, there is nothing pulling me away from God. God is using all things to pull me towards him.

Okay, God, no more “and,” but I’ll need your help to keep me from wobbling.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2006.