Invited to Your Story

As we begin 2013, I thought it appropriate to invite you into your story. Sounds a little silly to say, but I truly believe that for those of us hungry to discover God in our lives, we need only look as far as the story we have, and particularly its expression today.

If it is true that the friend of God and the presence of God is always found in the moment, and if God is always present with us, then we need only look as far as us to discover where God is initiating and inviting us into the transformation He imagined.  Point of clarification: God’s transformation is only ever into the person we were created to be. It is His restoring work that we refer to in transformation. But what is He restoring? I am thankful today to report that He is transforming you and me.

So today, and everyday forward from this point on, the only task we really have in terms of accessing where God is in our lives and what God is doing, is to ask some very simple questions.  The invitation of those questions is to discover where God is working and present right now.  So here are some simpler questions to contemplate:

What are you thinking about?

What are you worried about?

What are you excited about?

What do you feel?

What do you want?

Why do you want those things?

These questions might seem very individualistic and self-centered, but really they take us beyond the mindless self-centeredness of our culture and into a self-awareness of what is actually happening in us so that we can begin to discover God’s thoughts, God’s desires, God’s hopes, which inevitably will draw us out of ourselves and into a more loving relationship with others. Using the metaphor of the cross, it is the vertical that draws us into our selves; it is the horizontal that draws us out of ourselves.

My blessing for you this year of 2013 is that you will discover the invitation intrinsic in your every days. That God desires to connect with you. God does it by integrating what is actually happening in you.

What I am describing is the art of contemplation (meditation). It causes us to look within so that we are able to live not compelled by our feelings and thoughts; rather able to live in response to our feelings and thoughts in a more integrated way. Then we are not driven by our invisible forces that don’t really know what we want. Rather we will be compelled by a loving Source that accepts everything that is within you and creates space for everyone around you.

  • Geoff

    Sean,

    Thanks for your article, although I am a little confused. You seem to be suggesting that the way in which we get to know another is by introspection. I don’t see how this can make any sense. Surely, we can learn how to better deal with another by learning about ourselves and where our shortcomings may lie in our ability to understand and listen. But to say that we can know another’s thoughts, desires, and hopes by asking questions about ourselves is very counter-intuitive. And that is only magnified when speaking about God. How can we know the inward mind and heart of God by asking questions about ourselves, and why would we in light of that fact that we have his self-revelation in the Scriptures. (Because of your reference to the cross, although metaphorically, I am assuming you are speaking of the God of the Bible, of whom Jesus was the exact representation of and whom the Bible reveals; if not then disregard this entire comment.) In the Scriptures we come into direct contact with what God desires us to know about him, no more and no less. Interested in God’s desires? You might go to Hosea 6:6, which states explicitly, “For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God and not burnt offerings.” Interested in the thoughts of God? Speaking through Isaiah, He tells us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isa 55:8,9).

    If you’re desire is ultimately to be drawn into “a loving relationship with others”, it is a good and right one. But we must be first be drawn into a loving relationship with the Father, for we cannot know how to love apart from knowing Him. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows Him” (1 John 3:7).

    You do well to mention the cross, but stop short with it’s metaphor. It is the objective work of Christ on the cross, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but being made alive in the Spirit” (1 Pet. 3:18). If we would have true life, eternal life, loving God and loving others, we do well to get our instructions from God Himself. “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3).

    If we would desire to know God, we would do well to look away from ourselves, and look to His Word, namely Jesus, the Word that was made flesh and dwelt among us, since it is actually Him that God desires us to be conformed to (Rom 8:29).


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