One day while driving home from a meeting, as I approached the top of a hill, I was suddenly face-to-face with blinding sunlight. Everything became hazy with a yellow tint. In an instant, I was unable to see the normal colors of the world around me – everything was a goldish blur as the sun streamed in. I finally put on my sunglasses and was then able to see the full range of colors and I could stop squinting.
At that moment, an all-consuming thought came to my mind…..what if I could put on a pair of spiritual sunglasses and see God’s world as He sees it – not fuzzy or hazy, but clear and colorful. What if there was a way to put a filter on my eyes (and on my life) so I could see the things around me the way God sees them. For a long time, my $5.00 Wal-Mart sunglasses became a visual reminder that I can choose to either see the world through my own lens or through God’s perspective.
So, I began to think about how we organize our lives and how we see God in the context of our daily living. Out of that came a series of images that may, in some way, portray the way you organize your life including your spirituality. No matter which of the images below you most relate to (if any!)….I’d like to ask you this one question…..
Are you completely satisfied with how God fits into your daily living?
For some of you this is what your spiritual life looks like after you get married, have children or perhaps turn 30 or 40. Suddenly, you realize that God should have a special place in your life….so you “elevate Him up” a notch to have a bit more sway in certain areas. But, poker nights, college football weekends, my time on the boat….that’s “me” time. “Where or how does God fit into Poker Night anyway?”, you might ask….or you might say… “I’m not sure I want Him to fit into certain areas of my life!”. I’ve said that before and I’m sure you have too.
This was the image I had in mind when I put on my sunglasses that sunny day….seeing the world through a God lens. This view of God usually comes about after some major spiritual awakening, perhaps when you became a Christian or realized one day God needed to be more vital in your life.
In this image, God’s position goes from vertical (occupying a slice of the day) to horizontal….laying across and applying to all of life. If this is how you see God, I’d ask you this….how has God affected your hobbies and your work and friends? Has the way you deal with issues and friends changed since this became your view….or do you sometimes revert to image #2 or image #1? Notice “me” is still on top.
By the way, these diagrams are not meant to be theological and they are probably far from it…..but they are meant to get us to think about how we see the world and how we include or don’t include God in our daily lives.
The big difference in this image is that God is positioned at the top. He is paramount. I am under Him. He works “through me” to effect the world. I am still connected to my life but it’s Him directing me toward the various aspects of my life. I also shaded the “God” area yellow around my world to suggest that sometimes you can see God in and around all your world if you look for Him. The bible conveys the idea that God is omni-present and this shading relates to that….He is everywhere….
God’s omnipresence is made known in Psalms 139:7-10 “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”
In this final image I am “in” God and He is “in” me. God and I are united. He still directs my day and life and activities and thoughts…..we are close and intimate….this one reminds me of sitting in my father’s lap as a small kid and my world being lovingly and purposely directed by my trusting Dad. I still play a role in my day, of course, but I do it out of my personal union with Christ, with God and with the Holy Spirit.
There are probably dozens of ways to diagram these ideas of how we connect to God as part of (or all of) our lives. Maybe even some of these images can be real at the same time. My hope is that these simple images make you think about how God is or is not a part of your moment-by-moment world. If you’re not satisfied where you are and you want a more intimate God-centered relationship, just ask Him….ask God to help you see His world the way He does. Ask Him to shed the lens from which you see the world and to replace it with His view.
Jeremiah 29:13 says,”You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart”.