For the last couple of days, I've had this growing sense of gravity inside my heart. I know that sentence sounds weird. But I don't mean the force of nature. I mean a soul weight. It isn't that something is weighing heavily on my heart as much as it's a feeling that the world around me is taking on more substance. I have a tendency to live inside my head. Maybe you know this about me already. Maybe you've figured it out between all my ramblings about adventure and Tolkien (I know it was hard to guess). I like to dwell on daydreams sometimes -- it doesn't matter that I'm almost twenty-one. I live in the world around me, and I do love it, but sometimes I retreat inside the world of my mind, where sometimes the facts can get jumbled.
My mind possesses the ability to time jump. I can dream of my future. I can conjure entire other worlds. That's what I used to do when I was a kid. I would pace a circle in our backyard and daydream for as long as I could. The circle is still there in our backyard -- that's how often and how long I would walk the "dog run," as we called it.
"Nowhere" is not the conjunction of no and where, but, rather, the conjunction of Now and Here, which is actually Everywhere and is the only spot that we can truly experience God.
- Brennan Manning, Selfless Trust
These days I'm learning to be present in the moment. I'm learning that what Brennan Manning says is true: we can only experience God here, now, in the place where we are. This makes sense: if this is the only place where we are, we cannot be in any other place or time; ergo, it makes sense that we can only meet with Jesus where we are. I'm learning to look for the Kingdom one inch above the ground, as Emily P. Freeman says in that book I can't stop talking about, Simply Tuesday. I'm learning to meet with Jesus in the small ordinariness of my everyday, whatever that may mean for this moment. And that means being here, now, in the present moment, with the Lover of my soul Who made me.
Here's the thing, though. Once I started noticing that, started meeting with Jesus in the place where I am, it became impossible to ignore. God is like that. You welcome Him into your life, and He relentlessly, gently pursues you with His amazing love. It's kind of annoying, but utterly wonderful. Since I began learning to keep company with Him in the everyday, He's begun nudging me. He reminds me to meet with Him, to be here, to experience Him here.
And when I do that, I discover something strange. It's like waking up from a dream: when you were dreaming, you realize that something about the dream was off. Reality just makes sense. It's solid, trustworthy, reassuring. That's what this is like. When I remember to be where I am, it's almost as if my soul becomes anchored to the world around me. I see with new eyes. It's almost as if everything becomes more real, more solid. The world around me takes a new comforting firmness because Jesus is here with me.
It makes sense. He is Ultimate Reality. He is the Ultimate Fact, the Truth. He is realer than real, truer than true. Of course His presence in my life makes it more fully real, because I am returning to the most real thing (if God can be called a "thing") that there is.
I am returning to life as it was meant to be.
This new solidness frightens me a little bit. Colors seem truer; the world around me seems to breathe heavily with life I've never seen before. All I know to do in those moments of lucidity is to breathe in the presence of God all around me: in the cicadas, in the dishes, in the soapsuds, in the singing, in the cooking, in the walking outside to get the mail. In the midst of what I'm doing, all I know to do is sit my soul down in the presence of the One Who is mightier than I, and just be.
And I think that's the point.
Learning to simply be in the presence of God is difficult for me. I like to work and do and make myself as busy as I possibly can because oh my gosh! Where is my identity if not in the music, in the relationships, in all the roles I play?
And in the midst of all my would-be-busy, I hear the voice of my Creator remind me, ever so lovingly, that my identity is in Him -- that I am a child of the Star-maker, and I don't have to do anything in order to please Him or make myself anything or anyone at all. He reminds me that I don't have to act or rush or do anything for Him other than just be in His presence.
That's what I'm learning: to simply be in the presence of God, where I am, in my little moments.
May I have the courage to be here and now with my Father in Heaven. May I remember that the adventure I seek is here, one inch above the ground. May I have the boldness to live in the life I am in right now. It may not look like I want it to look, but do adventures ever look like we want them to look?
In a way, this is a kind of adventure. I am seeing the world that should have been. I am seeing the world that is all around us, if we only search for it a little bit. It is not visible to our eyes, but it is reality. It is solid and more real than anything we've ever known. How is this anything other than an adventure?
We are on a journey to the world as it was meant to be. May we have courage to stop and look for it here and now.