Category Archives: Universe

Breathe Deeply, Live Fully – The Present Moment is Sacred

This post is dedicated to my atheist friend (aforcier), who has a better grasp on the present moment than I do (as a Christian Theist ironically enough).

Erma Bombeck wrote a piece entitled “If I Had Life to Live Over Again”? In it, she wrote: “I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded. I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains…When my child kissed me impetuously, I would have never said, “Later. Now get washed up for dinner.” There would have been more I love yous, more I’m sorrys, but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute, look at it and really see it, live it, and never give it back.”

I remember the testimony of an anonymous friar in a Nebraska monastery. He wrote it in a letter late in his life. He says some surprising things and admits the need for being in the present moment. Remember, he’s lived an entire life of rigorous self-discipline in such a way that he feels he’s been cheated out of his present moments, and this is what he says:

“If I had my life to live over again, I’d try to make more mistakes next time. I would relax, I would limber up, and I would be sillier than I have been this trip… I would be crazier. I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers, and watch more sunsets. I would do more walking and looking. I would eat more ice cream and less beans… You see, I’m one of those people who lives…sensibly hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had to do it over again I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else, just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead each day. I’ve been one of those people who never go anywhere without a thermometer, a hot-water bottle, a gargle, a raincoat, aspirin, and a parachute. If I had to do it over again I would go places, do things, and travel lighter than I have. If I had my life to live over I would start barefooted earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.”

So if you have today, enjoy it immensely. Enjoy your job. After you’re done for the day, go get some taco’s. Sprinkle a little hot-sauce on them. Chase that down with some Schwann’s vanilla ice-cream, half-melted so you can stir it up in the bowl. Curl up on the couch and watch a football game. Keep your toes warm by putting them under the family dog’s belly. Make brownies to go with that Schwann’s vanilla ice-cream. Watch a little Andy Griffith after the game. Get lost in a great book.

Or, if you love nature (and all of us do to one degree or another), go outside, and enjoy a quiet place, on a log, by a river, with the smell of decaying leaves wafting through the air. God has created in such a way as to give you present moments. “God could have left the world flat and gray; we wouldn’t have known the difference. Be he didn’t. He splashed orange in the sunrise and cast the sky in blue… Did he have to make the birds sing? Was He required to put stripes on the zebra or the hump on the camel? And the funny way that chickens scurry or the majesty of thunder when it rings? Why give a flower fragrance? Why give food its taste? Why wrap creation in such splendor? Could it be he loves to see that look upon your face when you you recognize for the first time ‘You did this for me.’ (Lucado, Grace I and II).”

Trust God and have fun and make life better for someone else along the way – create a great present moment for them! Get lost in God’s world, even if but for a moment. Tomorrow will bring some unexpected things – and you may even cry about it – but you have today – this present moment.

You see the greatest tragedy of all in life is to assume that life is nothing more than humdrum, that there isn’t anything in it to seize or that there is no one seizing me. That’s the problem with post-modernism – there’s nothing to seize – no larger story going on. We live and we die in a series of disconnected moments. But there is One who is in an ever present sacred “Present Moment.” Join in the mystery of that moment.

Someone once asked Mark Buchanan what his biggest regret in life has been. He said, “I thought a moment, surveying the vast and cluttered landscape of my blunders and losses, the evil I have done and the evil that’s been done against me. ‘Being in a hurry,’ I said. ‘Pardon?’ Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me… Through all that haste, I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away.”

Don’t throw your moments away. You have this moment. Live it fully, breathe deeply.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Atheism, Atheist, Christian Worldview, Christianity, Happiness, Intelligent Design, Larger Story, Life Purpose, Parenting, Post-modernism, Present Moment, Spiritual Life, Theism, Universe, Worldview

God Is… “I Really Do Exist”

Too often, we are like the people in a story told by Frederich Buechner. Buechner proposes: what would happen if God set about demonstrating his existence and love in some dramatic and irrefutable way?

All of a sudden one night, the world would step outside and written in letters light-years tall, the sentence “I really exist” or “God is.” Suns and moons would dot the i’s and a comet would cross the t’s. He said that if I were going to write a play about it, I would show people sinking to their knees. He said the initial impact of this objective proof of the existence and love of God would cause churches to overflow into football stadiums and open fields. Crime would stop. Wars would cease. A kind of uncanny hush would fall over the world in Buechner’s play.

He said several years would go by and God’s proof of himself would still be blazing away every night for all to read: “I really exist” or “God is.” Buechner says I would be tempted to have God rewrite this message in different languages in colors so brilliant that the last skeptic would be convinced that God must exist and that he loves us.

Reflecting on what mankind has done down through history, the way that Buechner would have his play to end, he said, would be to have a young child look up into the sky some night and say out loud to God, “So what if God exists? What difference does that make?” In the twinkle of an eye, the message would fade, and even if it didn’t, the people, who had grown so accustomed to it, would continue their lives, loving what they want to love, ignoring the experience of God’s presence (Secrets In the Dark17-21).

What would happen if God set about demonstrating his existence and love in some dramatic and irrefutable way? Simply stated: what is currently happening today.

This is what has happened to mankind. We have grown accustomed to the many ways that God has said and is saying “I love you. I am. I exist. My message to you is true. You’re not alone on that planet. You’ve never been forsaken or forgotten. I’ve been pursuing you from the first day of your creation.” God has dramatically spoken, but we haven’t listened.

While God may not be writing legible messages in the stars about Himself, He is in one way or another trying to get messages through our blindness via the Book of Nature – the Cosmic Cathedral – as we move around down here, knee-deep in the muck and misery of our pleasures. We are firmly embedded in a universe wherein every moment of every day, something is proclaiming, “God is. God is.” If God is, then bad can be made good, brokenness and rebellion can be atoned, and chaos can be brought to order. If God is, then there is hope for the hopeless, and help for the helpless. If God is, then everything in life has meaning and purpose.

The great news is that God is…He really is! But here is the bad news. No matter if God wrote a message in every language known to man with stars and comets in the skies, there would be those who would still assert “I don’t believe in God.” They would explain why the stars and comets created the words “God is” in the skies; that it was just a coincidence; that there couldn’t possibly be Someone behind the statement; that the planets aligned somehow – accidentally even; that a rational case can be made for God’s non-existence.

Such is a heart that is bent and determined to not allow God to be God. Offer alternative explanations for the evidence, even though its obvious, that God is. “God is,” says the atheist. “But I don’t want Him to be.”

4 Comments

Filed under Agnosticism, Atheism, God, Universe

What went wrong in our Universe? A Theist Answers

Eons ago, the earth was a wasteland, a cosmic garbage dump. Everything was sort of floating together in a formless mass. It was a swamp. Some would contend that this was Satan’s doings. He makes a garbage dump of what God had made up until this point in this specific area of the universe. Wherever Satan rules, he creates chaos. Earth was a “Silent Planet” in a vast universe that echoes cosmic praises. Earth was a place in God’s great universe that refused to sing anthems of praise to our one true God. The universe awaits how the one true Trinitarian God, full of love and grace, justice and righteousness, will respond to the rebellion. What will he do with this Satanic holding area known as Earth?

Here’s what God does. God stepped into the chaos of Satan’s earthly realm in Genesis 1 and does the unthinkable. 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” It’s as if He said to Satan, “I am going to create a creature of less beauty than you Satan and even though this creature (mankind) doesn’t have your angelic ability or power, if he lives in a trusting, obeying relationship with me, he/she will be far greater than an angel who chose to rebel against me. A lesser (man) living in dependence upon God is greater than an angel (Satan) who is living in independence of God. God announced to Satan in Genesis, “Satan, in your realm, in your house where I allow you to exist and operate, I am going to create something beautiful out of the chaos. Furthermore, I will put man in charge. He will rule your house – the birds and fish of the sea that I will create will sing my praise in your house.” “Satan, I’m going to clean up your garbage dump. I’m going to make it beautiful and demonstrate my glory there. I’m going to create mankind, and they will rule your house!” The planet Earth will be silent no more. No longer will it be a place where Satan and his angels are constrained to a formless, dark mass. This place will erupt with life, my kind of life. The planet will be silent no more because I’m giving it over to God-glorifying human-beings (for more see the book by Tony Evans).

Leave a comment

Filed under Creation, Satan, The Fall, Uncategorized, Universe