Prayers, Swimming pools, and a general sense of isolation.
Recently, I was helping a friend set up for a concert. His band was playing for a local Sunday morning church service. We were pulling Taylors out of guitar cases and running cables and setting up ghost networks (Yes, I am a bit of a nerd) and doing mic checks.
As everything was coming to a close and the concert was about to begin, everyone in the band and those that were helping set up moved to the back of the stage as the pastor began to give us the “pre-show pep talk” which always ends with a prayer.
He spoke to us and as he began to pray, something he said caught me. He said, “….and God, come and be with us in this place…”
I had heard this in prayers countless times before but this time it struck me. So we are asking God to come and be with us?
Wouldn’t this mean that He was Not there before?
And if He was not there before, then where was He?
And if He was never there in the first place, then how were we there?
It was about this point that I realized something about us Humans. We are burdened with an overwhelming sense of isolation. It is not that we are actually alone, it is just that we feel and act as if we were alone. Ultimately, It is a misunderstanding of the very nature of God and Reality itself that leads us to this under-developed understanding of our place in the universe.
For centuries, we have held to the shallow belief that when God went to create the universe, He held out His hand and started to create like a potter and a piece of pottery. In the “space” right “in front of” God, we believe that He spoke everything into being, and after He was finished He stepped back and gave it all a gander. Here is the problem. This way of thinking assumes that there is some sort of “space” out “in front of” God for Him to do His creative work. But in the beginning there was only God and nothing existed outside of Him. This can be difficult to understand.
Imagine that you are standing in the middle of an empty room. You would be able to move from the middle of the room to the door because there is space in the room to move around. There is space to move around because you are “IN” the room. This is our experience of the world from a perspective of isolation.
God would be the actual walls of the room. No room to create outside Himself because Himself is all there is. Only room to operate within.
My Spiritual Father is always directing me to the beauty of things. The term that He is always using is “wonder.” I will be in the middle of speaking to Him about some pressing matter and He will stop and say “look at the moon, isn’t it beautiful?” or he will say, “There is nothing like a sunset on Highway 64.” For the longest time these scenic pauses would confuse me. I thought that He was either a bit crazy, or whatever I was saying was just a bit boring. The Truth is that he has become aware that if we are inside God, then that isn’t just a sunset. Sure the sun is setting and we know theoretically what that means in relation to us. But that sunset is part of who God is.
If we are in God, then we are constantly
and smelling him
and touching him.
We are constantly seeing Him. The trouble is that we never thought to look for it in the one most obvious place, which is right in front of us. All around you. The computer screen that you see and the eyes that you see with. Matter consisting of His substance.
When I was a little kid, my mother would take us to the pool in the little apartment complex where we lived. I would always look forward to those Saturday afternoons. Being in the water was so fascinating to me. Diving under the water made it feel as though time slowed down and I was moving in slow motion. There is something about being totally submerged in the water. You get a sense of what its like to be “in” something. No crevice that this slippery substance doesn’t penetrate. Completely surrounded and supported. cradled.
When we come to know our place in the mystery that is God, we will discover that this general sense of isolation was just a dreadful fear. That when you begin to “see” God all around you, there is no way to feel isolated and alone anymore. You are just a part of the whole, supported and cared for.
The truth is that there is no room outside of God for existing because He is simply all there is. So if you are reading this right now, then welcome to the family.Your very existence is proof of your value.
So let us come to realize that God is close. Let us come to see that we can engage Him. Let us come to know that our isolation is only an illusion.
And instead of asking Him to come be with us, let us come to see that we have never been alone.