Thursday, August 12, 2021

iDENTITY #13 - You Are Significant to God


(Monroe County)

Thomas Merton writes: 

"I think the chief reason why we have so little joy is that we take ourselves too seriously. Joy can only be real if it is based on truth... [The]  starting point is the truth of our own insignificance in comparison with God. To penetrate the truth of how utterly unimportant we are is the only thing that can set us free to enjoy true happiness." 

(The Sign of Jonas; emphasis mine.)

"We take ourselves too seriously." Take God seriously, not yourself. The world does not revolve around you, but around God.

Joy turns to frustration and anguish when life is all about you. 

Do not water the flower of your own self so that you might bloom before others. 

Lighten up about you. 

Your reputation is unimportant; God's honor is all-important.

Pray that people might find God, not you, because you are not such a big deal. God is a big deal. 

To be free of the cultivation of one's own persona is the gateway to joy. 

If through you we see God, that will be cool. Better for us to see and find God than to discover you.

We are insignificant in comparison with God. Out of the seven billion people 
on earth, not one of them is now thinking about you. To the world at large, you are a non-issue.

OK, maybe there's one person who, right now, thinks of you, of how beautiful you are, or how intelligent and creative you are. Probably one or two or ten people love you and think of you, now. Maybe there's one person who is now angry with you and hates you, and thinks of how ignorant and irritating you are.

The majority of people (99.999999% of them) do not know you exist; hence, ipso facto, they are not thinking of you. To the world, and in this world, you are near-totally insignificant.

God, on the other hand, is significant. In this moment, right now, many are seeking God, being found by God, questioning God, asking God, arguing against God's existence, saying the name of God, worshiping God, ignoring God, reading about God, dreaming about God, standing in awe of God, saying God's name (not your's) in vain, singing God's name (not your's) in praise, writing about God, basking in God's presence, questioning God's absence, cursing God, and thanking God. God has been, is, and will be the focal issue, the central Person, in life. God is the sun around which the world revolves; you and I are specks. 

Is all this not true? Does not this truth set you free?

"To penetrate the truth of how utterly unimportant we are is the only thing that can set us free to enjoy true happiness."

As you take this breath, God is going after people, including you, with a love that knows no limits, with a pursuit that is forceful, specific, and effective. In your great insignificance and worldly-nonattention the God who is creator of all comes to you, personally, and whispers, "I love YOU." Let those words settle into the secret places of your heart. This is the time of freedom and joy.

Psalm 8:4 says: 

I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous, your handmade sky-jewelry, Moon and stars mounted in their settings. Then I look at my micro-self and wonder, Why do you bother with us? Why take a second look our way? 

(The Message) 

Who am I, God, that you are mindful of me? And yet, You are.

You are a micro-self.

God is thinking of you.