|(Glen Lake, Michigan)|
Pandemic. The economy. Cultural upheaval.
God's presence. I'm in God's presence, this morning. I am experiencing the presence of God.
God's presence is not a function of life's circumstances. God is not limited by whether we sail on smooth waters or stormy seas. God is in the chaos as well as the calm.
God's presence is experiential. I have stacks of spiritual journals recording my encounters with God, ranging from possible (could have been God), to probable (probably was God), to certain (beyond a reasonable doubt, that was God).
It is possible to experience God. There is nothing logically impossible about experiencing God. "Experiencing God" is not logically incoherent, like "square circle" is.
It is probable that I will experience God. Because I find the Christian story to be true, I expect to experience God. Experiencing God's presence is integral to the social imaginary of Christian theism. Today, I have expectation.
I know I have experienced God. I have had events and situations where it would be unreasonable for me to disbelieve. In such instances, reductionism to a purely physical explanation without remainder would require a leap of faith too vast for me to make.
These experiences keep me going, spiritually. They encourage me. They change me. They guide me. They provide ongoing confirmation to my belief that God comes to me as Emmanuel, God-with-me.
Thomas Merton writes:
"There exists some point at which I can meet God in a real and experimental contact with His infinite actuality. This is the “place” of God, His sanctuary— it is the point where my contingent being depends upon His love. Within myself is a metaphorical apex of existence at which I am held in being by my Creator. God utters me like a word containing a partial thought of Himself. A word will never be able to comprehend the voice that utters it."
Merton, Thomas, New Seeds of Contemplation, p. 37)
My two books are...
Leading the Presence-Driven Church
Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God