The Daily Delight of Knowing God
I wondered if it would change, this bliss that enveloped me during the Children of Inheritance retreat.
I doubted that it would linger weeks, certainly not months. A sadness lurked in my mind, reminding me of times in the past I had ‘slipped’, made poor decisions, or become weary.
I grew up talking about God as a seasonal presence, one that bloomed, shone, drifted and withered in synchrony with the circumstances of my life. He was a presence I adored but I always seemed to be in a process of ‘getting there’. I was persistently aware of how much growth and change was needed in me, as if there was an ultimate point where I could finally stop improving and God would be pleased with me.
On the final day of our two weeks in the woods, I found a small moment where I was alone in the kitchen, whilst everyone was away cleaning the cabin or packing bags. I remembered the tinge of sadness that I had felt the first few days of camp, the worry of what would happen next. In response, a small image came into my mind, in the sweet and encompassing way it does when I feel Holy Spirit teaching me something:
I was walking along a shoreline trying to collect as many shells as possible so I could keep them for when I left the beach. I felt a question arise: Why do I try collect and memorize each detail of the beach when I could just stay there?
In my seasonal view of God, I came to rely on ‘mountain top experiences’ where I encountered God powerfully at camps or worship nights. These times were often followed by confusion as I struggled to sustain my enthusiasm. I was trying to hold onto every experience with him so I wouldn’t forget them, so I wouldn’t forget Him. I preserved God and in doing so stopped him from breathing in the present.
That morning, I chose to finish collecting encounters with God as artefacts.
To stop believing he was fleeting.
To remove the lie he was unavailable and inconsistent.
I chose to stay on the beach.
To believe he sacrificed everything for intimacy with me.
To seek truth consistently and joyfully.
It has been nearly four months since then. I continue to choose Jesus each day, knowing I am completely, irreversibly infatuated with him.