God, Disguised As Your Life

A couple of years ago, I attended a two-day conference hosted by Richard Rohr.  It was two days of incredible wisdom and teaching from one of the greatest teachers of our time, and I took copious notes, writing down everything he said that resonated with me.  

But of all the things that he said, there is one thing that has come back to me over and again, and I have never really felt like I've understood it all that well.  This is what he said: 

God comes to you disguised as your life. 

I've struggled against that bit of wisdom because I want to modify it to say something like, "God comes to you disguised as the best parts of your life." That makes more sense to me.  

Because how could all of the worst parts be God, too, am I right?  

I was listening to a song by Sean C. Kennedy today entitled, "Let Life Love You," and I found myself beginning to understand what Rohr meant a bit better.  The chorus to the song goes like this: 
The meaning of life is to let life love you
And let it just flow
Every time that you fail to answer
It's okay that you don't know
You feel so low, you feel so high
You lost something that you held so tight
The meaning of life is to let life love you
So let life love you
And let it just flow

I suddenly found myself changing the lyrics just a bit.  "The meaning of life is to let God love you... So let God love you..."  

Suddenly, I began to understand.  God comes to us disguised as our life because God reaches out to us in both the good moments and the bad--wanting nothing more than for us to experience God's love, and the joy that love can bring.  

This got me thinking about the 16th-century writers of the Westminster Catechism.  I know... my brain leads me to odd places.  But these authors, in spite of their stuffy, Puritan-soaked theology, wrote this: 

Q: What is the chief end of [humankind]?  A: To glorify God, and enjoy [God] forever.

To glorify and enjoy God...  

When we acknowledge and welcome the presence of God, when we see the work of God in our lives and in the world around us, and then we respond with gratitude, reverence, silence, sadness, or hope... whatever our heart feels in the moment... this is what it means to "glorify." 

It's then that we can learn what it means to enjoy God forever, to learn more fully that our life is in God, and God is our life. 

To say that "God is my life" is to say that God permeates every part of your existence, both within and without you.  God is never far away from you, never leaves you or forsakes you---even in the moments when you might feel otherwise. 

As an ancient Hebrew songwriter once declared, there is nowhere you can go, no place you can hide---even within the depths of your own soul---where God can't find you.  

And when we finally begin to learn what this means, we also learn to see our life differently, so much so that we might discover reservoirs of love for all of it... even the worst things.  

God comes to you disguised as your life... so let God love you.  
This is the meaning of life, after all.  

May it be so for you today and every day forward.  And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  


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