What if everything that you need to live truly and fully as who you are in Christ is already available to you, right here, and right now?
What difference would that make in the ways you choose to spend the rest of the day in front of you?
For many of my earlier years, I thought that my life as a Christian was dependent on my "setting out to find God." It was as if seeking and finding God could only be the result of a kind of acquisition: by studying more, by gaining a better theological understanding, by becoming more proficient in more kinds of prayer, by becoming more effective in efforts to minister to and serve others, etc.
But then, after what felt like a long time of setting out to find God, I came across the approach to opening myself to God which Mulholland introduces with this statement, and the sense of relief, freedom, and hope which come with it.
I no longer have to attempt chart out for myself where my efforts in seeking God’s kingdom may take me. Instead, I recognize that God’s grace is active right here, right now, and this is the only place and time I’ve been given to encounter God.
I no longer have to be concerned with whether the direction I’m heading will end up finding as much of God as I had hoped. Instead, I can trust that God is here, leading me at a pace God determines, helping me to see more of him, more of myself, and more of the world around me as I am ready for it.
I still put in effort and am still seeking God’s kingdom, but I have come to realize that the journey involves seeking and effort––not because God is off hiding behind a tree somewhere and waiting for me to find him––but because I have learned very well how to put up walls around myself to keep God and other people at a safe distance, and it feels uncomfortable to learn to live without them.
This kind of journey is one in which I am invited to give up control, to stay planted in this “process of being conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others,”* rather than attempting to chisel myself into a likeness of Jesus.
So, what if this is true, for you and for me, today?
I will be much more likely to realize that nothing in my agenda matters more than having some time with God today, and intentionally shaping that time in a way that takes much of the control of that time out of my hands and puts it into God’s.
This means I have to be okay with regularly showing up to be with God through practices that will often feel unproductive to me. I’m giving up on the satisfaction of checking boxes, and seeking instead to give myself to this God who is right here, right now, and to the people he has put into my life today.
*This is Mulholland's definition of spiritual formation, which forms the core of Invitation to a Journey.