How would you respond if someone asked you to identify what is most true about you?
Would you point toward an attribute? Would you list some qualities, or maybe negative traits? Would you say your experiences are what is most true, or might you fall back to simple science, your biology?
A friend and I were talking about our reactions, about how we have been responding to others and to our own thoughts and we made this super simple statement:
If we could remember that God is for us, that we are loved and that God is present there would be very little that bothers us.
Yes, we would hopefully continue to notice injustice, or areas where people have needs. Life’s unfairness would probably still be evident, but how we would respond would be radically different if we could just maintain this one tiny truth, for God loved us so much.
So why is it so difficult to maximize the benefits of this reality. Well for starters we don’t always feel very loved by God. In fact, I would imagine for a few of us we have even felt the opposite at times, more feeling abandoned, punished or overlooked.
Other times it’s an issue of forgetting. Life keeps moving and we are either running to keep up or being drug along and we just forget. It’s not about not caring or not believing even, it’s just that, for seasons, it doesn’t even cross our minds.
Another hindrance in consistently grasping this truth is that we are more concerned with the not-truths in our lives. We get fixated on lies we have been told, or a sense of personal vindication, or a long list of “what ifs” or “when _______, then ________.” Keeping these at the forefront of our mind make it difficult for the reality of God’s presence to penetrate our hearts or calm the storm of thoughts.
Someone recently shared with me their practice of centering prayer, and they made this comment, “For me, it’s about taking a moment to do nothing but let God love me, and just to be in that love.”
I started trying this super awkward thing for me. I started trying to just sit, zero thoughts, and just let God love me. Even typing this feels super new-age and cheesy, I’m rolling my eyes at myself. I much more prefer the “let’s get stuff done” dynamic with God. I can easily fall into “yeah, yeah, yeah, you love me…so what’s next.” All the more reason I probably need to practice more like my friend.
If what is most true about me is that I am loved, that God, as love, is present with me always, how might that impact my choices? How might my responses change? Will I be less offended? Take things less personally?
Get awkward for a second. What is most true about you is that you are loved, and that love, is present through all things – the things you love, the things you struggle with, the areas of life that bring you joy, and those that cause you pain, the people that feel like a gift, and those that you kinda just want to kick in the teeth (not sure why, but this has become my new phrase)…stop for a moment and see if you can let God simply love you. Try not to think too much. Try not to roll your eyes. Just see what happens when you focus in on what is truly most true about you.
Was it that bad?