One of Richard Rohr’s most insightful teachings is, “We cannot attain the presence of God because we’re already totally in the presence of God. What’s absent is awareness.” God is always present. The problem is our minds distract us from envisioning that reality. Don’t let your mind distract you from that reality.
The New Testament writers communicate God’s lives within our being. Paul writes, in 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Do you not know your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you received from God?” (You are My Dwelling Place) In our daily lives, we are generally unaware of this beautiful promise. We are aware of God’s presence about the only time we engage our minds to pray. In those moments, we perceive God is here and present with us. We move beyond our human experience to imagine the ultimate reality of God around us. If we want to know God is always present, we must change our approach to attaining it. (TheChristianPost)
What would it mean for you to live in the fullness and presence of Christ in your day-to-day living? I believe it would fundamentally change your life experience. You would recognize you are the variable of being aware of the presence of God. You would discover your ego’s self-centered nature and its desire to control everything. Your ego is the center of attention, making it impossible to focus on God. With that knowledge, seek with your whole heart a meaningful new relationship with God. (I am Present with You every Moment of the Day)
There must be a complete turnaround in our understanding of how we view our relationship with God. Rabbi Lawrence Kushner illustrates in our Western mindset, we can represent God and humanity with two circles. He said to draw one as a big circle, and of course, that circle represents God. Then right underneath it, draw another little circle, and it means you and me in the world. It is natural for us to see ourselves living our daily lives down here and to think that God is up there. In that equation, we talk to God, and God speaks back to tell us what to do.
Now let’s explore a new scenario of the two circles. Take the same big circle designated for God, but now take the little circle representing us and put it inside the circle representing God. In our Western mindset, we generally reject that reality. Our egos and minds automatically separate us from one another and God. We fail to realize our significant disconnect from God, the created order, and ourselves. We are oblivious to the spiritual connectedness of the seen and unseen world.
However, the mindset of the East tends to see the world, with everything being in connection with everything else. Nothing exists separate from anything else. The East views you, and I interconnected with all that exists, for nothing exists without the other.
In the west, we lost the idea of being connected and living in a relationship with everything else that exists. Our rational minds classify, dissect, and judge every detail and aspect of life. We live our lives separated from God, ourselves, others, and the Created Order.
Western religious thought rejects the idea of being united with God because we know not even to compare ourselves with God. There are clear boundaries we know in our minds. However, Rabbi Kushner shares, contrary to all our illusions, a dimension of the divine, and for the mystic in moments of heightened spiritual awareness, the boundary line, which is the little circle defining you and me inside the big ring, momentarily is erased. Presently it is blurred, and it’s no longer clear where you end, and God begins. God and you transcend the boundaries.
As Christians, we touch Christ through the spirit. Your relationship with God is more than God telling you what to do. There are moments you see yourself no longer separated from God but being made holy in the presence of God. The Christian mystic has eyes to see the presence of God, like the apostle Paul who caught a glimpse of the third heaven and the glory of God. There was no separation for Paul, and he understood he was in unity with the spirit while still living in a human body. (Contemplation: Seeing the World through God’s Eyes)
Paul did not picture God in the big circle and himself living in a separate circle. Paul, with spiritual eyes, saw beyond any boundaries, and his spiritual experience connects his spirit to be one in spiritual unity with Christ and all creation. In John 17:21, Jesus said that all of them might be one, Father, just as you are in me, and I am in you. Paul not only would believe it in his head but could experience it as a reality in his heart. (ChristianityToday)
Paul no longer could go back to his old way of living separated and unaware of Christ’s presence. God is always present. The question for us will we live present with God? Don’t let your mind distract you from that reality.
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