The Presence of God
I have declared this my song of the week. Go ahead and give it a listen, its pretty catchy.
The refrain is the part I love the most:“In you we live, in you we move, in you we have our being.”
This is actually a slight paraphrase on a passage from the book of Acts where Paul, while talking in Greece says, “For in God we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are God’s offspring” (Acts 17:28).
Paul is saying this to the Greeks because he wants them to see that God is not confined to temples or empty rituals, but rather that God is actively part of every move we make. God is present in our living, our moving, our very being.
I find these ideas to be particularly comforting when I’m exercising. The task of lifting weights or running on a treadmill or even going for a walk outside carries an entirely different meaning for me when I consider my movements as expressions of God’s presence.
But I also find these words from Paul all the more comforting at those moments when I feel entirely complacent. Sometimes I find myself just getting into a rut. Everything moves along as it should and life passes without any peaks or valleys to report. While this can be satisfying, I find that my complacency causes me to neglect my relationship with God. I end up in what I call a spiritual rut.
It’s those moments in life when God seems distant or indifferent or silent--it is then that I need to be reminded that I am God’s offspring and that in God I live, move, and have my being. The presence of God is found in my daily actions, my daily exercise, and my daily conversations, but its often my complacency that keeps me from seeing this presence of God that permeates my entire existence.
I think author Brian McLaren said it best,
"as we wander through the universe, we are not just encountering meaningless stuff; rather, we are walking through an art gallery, filled with objects full of meaning, expressiveness, revelation of the Creator's hear, intelligence, compassion, and whimsy... everything we encounter belongs to God and matters to God."
May we all learn to embrace the presence of God that lives and moves within us and around us. Amen.