“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” John 3:16 NIV.
Richard Rohr said, “The presence of God is infinite, everywhere, always, and forever. You cannot not be in the presence of God. There’s no other place to be. The only change is always on our side—God is present, but we’re not present to Presence. We’ll make any excuse to be somewhere other than right here. Right here, right now never seems enough.”
Our 31 days together in this email series has been about changing our thinking, about thinking itself, as well as about the power of choice, and becoming more aware of the abiding presence of God in our everyday lives. But it’s also been about becoming more self-aware. Becoming more present to myself and more present to the Presence of God has been key to my own recovery from apathy and depression over the last seven years. My hope is that a little taste of the principles that have helped me might help you too.
This mysterious union we have with God helps us lead better lives. Sadly, our Bible training and church attendance have sometimes left us more impotent than empowered. The many misguided admonitions to selflessness and waiting on God have left us paralyzed and inactive, sidelined observers of life rather than powerful participants. We’re always waiting on God to show up when He’s never stopped showing up from the creation of His universe.
I realized one day that my religious training didn’t make me a better person. My ego had run me aground while trying to use my gifts for the glory of God. I was near-sighted, judgmental, and closed off from a broader vision of the presence of God in people no matter what they believed or what country or tradition or religion they practiced. “For God so loved the world” includes everyone in His world, whether I love them or not. Loving them starts with loving myself enough to be the best version of myself. It starts there for you too.