Sunday, June 12, 2016
God is not the greatest thing
He tells us that when Jesus ascended into "heaven", His movement "up into the sky" corresponded to man's perception of the sky as being higher and greater than here on earth. And Lewis points out that if Jesus had descended into the earth, it would have put a different spin on what we felt He did.
But if we continue to explore the idea of God being "up there", sitting on a cloud and waiting for us to fly up to see him, we come to an important and (believe it or not) very practical bit of wisdom for our daily lives. See, it's easy to think of God as being the greatest thing in the world, or maybe in the universe. But He's not.
God is not a thing at all. I know, you might roll your eyes at this point and say "well, He's not a THING, but He's the greatest PERSON in the universe." And again, you'd be mistaken. He's not in the universe. He isn't the greatest of all of the things in existence. He is, instead, existence itself. He is "the ground of our being", as great minds have said. He is being itself. That's why, when Moses asked Him who He was at the burning bush (pictured above... didn't know they had cameras back then, did you?), He said He was "I am that I am." He is what "being" means.
Now that sounds very theological and totally out of touch with our daily lives, right? But it has some very practical applications.
See, God is not competing with us. He's not standing there as an option for you to choose over other options. He encompasses all of our lives, our options, our choices, our futures. So we don't have to feel that we have to choose God over our friend. Or God over our family. Or God over our favorite hobby. Sure, He needs to be more important to us than those other things. But we don't choose one or the other. He is IN all of them. You can FIND Him in the very things that you love. He gave you that love, and He is in those things, waiting for you to discover Him there, in your friend, in your family, in your hobby.
In the burning bush, God appeared to Moses. But the bush was not consumed. Because God wasn't competing with the bush. The bush went on living, doing its bush thing, AND God was there in it, meeting with Moses. When God is in our lives, He doesn't take away from our life... He makes us live even more aflame than before. In fact, we can only truly live when He is present in us.
God, thanks for not being the greatest thing... but instead, being being itself. Help us to find You in all good things.