God Isn't Somewhere Else
He who longs the most lives the longest - Khalil Gibran
One of my favorite television shows of all time was the short-lived science-fiction series Fringe, which ran for five seasons and 100 episodes.
The plot centered around the conflict created by an opening to another dimension that revealed a parallel universe and alternate realities.
After watching Fringe for a while, I got to thinking about dimensions, realities, heaven, and God--because that's naturally what you do when you're a pastor and you watch shows like Fringe. Sue me, I'm weird.
At any rate, after a lot of reading studying and pondering I came to believe that, since the idea of a heaven somewhere "up above" just doesn't make any sense, the idea of realities on the other side of our reality is the best way to think about such things.
In other words, "where God is," most likely is just on the other side of what I can perceive--right here, right now. So God isn't somewhere else, God is right here (everywhere, in fact) on the other side of what I can see and experience with my limited abilities.
C.S. Lewis once wrote: "There is no neutral ground in the universe. Every square inch, every split second is claimed by God..."
And this thought created a longing in me that I haven't been able to shake. It's a longing to experience that reality--God's reality. To search for thin places in the world where I can see "heaven here on earth," so speak.
At first, I felt awkward about this longing. I wondered if it was the kind of thing that daydreamers or people who are "losing it" might spend too much time thinking about. But then I began to understand that there is something deep inside all of us that is constantly yearning for God's reality.
Richard Rohr puts it like this:
The deepest human need and longing is to overcome the separateness the distance from what always seems "over there" and "beyond me"...Beloved, your longings for connection with the Divine... your longings for a world made better through God's loving, generative spirit... your longing to know and be known... let yourself feel them, let yourself be guided by them.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.
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