10/19/14 Rev. David McArthur
Where God Is, I Am
Years ago I was in a city on the West Bank. It was in a very very old part with stone walls and a bazaar. I heard shots and bullets hitting above me, and stone chips fell on me. Looking back at this I realize now that I had no fear in those moments, but a sense of connectedness and clarity. I knew what to do and how to do it. I got out safely. I see now that I didn’t even have to try to get to my heart and ask how. I had a divine connection that was real and there was no room for fear. I didn’t have to know how. It took care of me. When I needed it, it was there. It had been growing in my everyday activities for years. But how do you do that?
Prayer and meditation work, but I use another type of meditation more. Jesus said the greatest law is, “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” I was a teenager when I first thought about this: “Love the Lord thy God…” I didn’t even like Him—an arbitrary God who loved one club but not the other club that didn’t have “it”; a God really into punishment, who had a sense of emotional maturity that has now even been surpassed by my three year old granddaughter! Loving that God was too hard for me.
Jesus went on to say “…with all thy heart…” But loving can be hard even in a NORMAL family where there are many challenges to learning love. However, there is an easier way. Just enter into the feeling of love. Just remember loving. It’s a wonderful feeling. I often recall the magnificent mountains I’ve seen—the rivers, the animals. Or those glorious sunsets over a still ocean, or even the beauty of just a single flower, and the wondrous Creator of all of it. Or the beauty you see in friends, children, spouses. My heart can include that.
But Jesus also said “…and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind…” That’s a part of us that has no limit, far beyond this human body thing. Wow! Love with that! Bring the feeling up from the heart to the mind which then becomes clear, and the experience expands.
Then He said “Love thy neighbor as thy self.” Jesus’ focus was on those in need of compassion, as in the Good Samaritan. But feel you are connected with humanity as yourself; bring that love in and appreciate who you are. Let that in. Loving our neighbors and loving ourselves is a state of being. It is who we are, our true nature. And you know what? There is no fear in that. Breathe that feeling. It’s a simple place. My experience is the more I touch there, the more it touches me. So daily I use a line from the Prayer of Protection: “Where ever I am, God is.” “Where ever I am, God is.” “Where ever I am, God is.”
It creates that state of consciousness in us. Rumi said it this way: “The Lord is in me, and the Lord is in you… look for Him within you. When I sit in the heart of His world A million suns blaze with light, A burning blue sea spreads across the sky, Life’s turmoil falls quiet, All the stains of suffering wash away… This is the music of soul and soul meeting… This is the music that transcends all coming and going.”
And it’s there! Where I am, God is. Feel that Presence! Where you are, God is—because you are! Bless you!