Fullness Training (September 28, 2012)

…Opening To…

The glory of God is the human being fully alive. (St. Irenaeus)

…Listening In…

Many people say, “We can’t find goodness anywhere. The light of your face has left us, LORD!” But you have filled my heart with more joy than when their wheat and wine are everywhere! (Psalm 4:6-7; context)

…Filling Up…

In the times when we feel fully alive, it’s a really good idea to thank God for such times. Now, we can feel fully alive without attributing the fullness to God. After all, I don’t think God necessarily seeks the credit for what God does. But besides the fact that it’s a good idea to thank God for God’s movement during our experiences of fullness (after all, if your mother fills you up with the best steak and potatoes you’ve ever eaten, it’s just good manners to say, “Thank you”), there is another reason to do so.

When we attribute our times of fullness to the presence of our Creator, we actively train ourselves to be on the lookout for God in the moments when God is easiest to see. For most of us, I’d imagine that God is easiest to see in the fullness – the sunrise over the ocean that I mentioned on Tuesday. Or holding the newborn, which I seem to keep coming back to.

This training is so important because it helps us to notice God’s movement in the rougher times, in the valleys, in the moments when the trials and tribulations of this world shield us from being aware of God in our midst. God is present in our fullness and when we feel empty. We just have a harder time noticing God in the latter. But when we use the full times to train ourselves, we can find God more readily when times are tough.

Too often, people start seeking God when their lives have hit a downward spiral. But this is like waiting to go to the doctor after you are sure you are sick rather than for regular checkups. Practicing noticing God’s presence when we feel fully alive equips us to continue seeking that presence when a thousand little deaths have taken our fullness away.

I hope, then, that you will look for God’s presence when you feel fully alive. Celebrate the reality that God is the foundation of that fullness. And when you feel empty, draw on the memory of your fullness so that you know where to look to find your Creator.

…Praying For…

Dear God, source of all life, help me to notice your presence during the full times so that I may more easily notice that presence in the lean ones. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, rejoicing that you constantly yearn to draw me more deeply and more fully into life.

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