THE GREAT I AM
Leader of promise, are you ready to start?
What premises, filters whittle your view?
What fuels your desire to serve from the heart?
What centers your universe: God or you?
God in windswept shore, monarch butterfly;
in every atom part, in galaxy;
in every cloud-borne droplet from the sky;
so too, your soul-- in all, divinity.
Bounding back before Big Bang’s bombardment,
beyond sweet sequel to eternity,
behold in every right now moment:
God weaves you, with love, through time’s tapestry.
Alpha, Omega! In you, me and all.
Great I AM whispers. Hear the quiet call?
In my last letter to you, I highlighted our connectedness in space-- to friend, to neighbor, to country-mate, to fellow human, and to all animate and inanimate things in the world– with God interwoven. God is aliveness, the luminous love energy we sense in all things. Present in every cell in our body, in all the atoms in the universe, and in the most secret place in our heart of hearts. This is what is meant when it is said God is “immanent”.
But God is also transcendent, beyond the furthest boundaries of time. He is our Alpha and Omega-- the great I AM. God was, is and always will be. Before all of history. In this fleeting moment. Then on from here, into a thousand tomorrows and beyond– past all eternity. When we begin to sense God’s connectedness across time, it causes us to care more about the future of humanity and its planet. God teaches us: tomorrow matters.
Remember the ladder I like to call the “disciplines of goodness”-- the one I’ve shared with you in earlier letters? All seven disciplines express care for tomorrow:
Piety is the foundational first step up the ladder of goodness. It is our journey from today into tomorrow, walking with God by our side. Endowed at birth with original goodness and free will, we live to test boundaries. We make mistakes. We stray from God’s steady stream of love. And then, perhaps when all else fails, we return to God. We open ourselves back up to Him. In such an encounter, God always begins with love. He transforms our fear (by love) into peace, and our remorse (by grace) into healing. As we begin to love ourselves again, we become ready to love others. This leads us to care, which leads us to act to advance the good. Piety gives hope and healing to our future– and the future of those we touch. In piety, we become pebbles of goodness dropped in the sea of God’s love.
Our relationship with God makes us conscious of our interconnectedness. We begin to sense the dignity of every human soul. We begin to live in a spirit of reciprocity. These shifts of the heart change how we interact. We begin to show simple human decency in everyday encounters.
The decency in our demeanor is sensed by others, making their days a little brighter– leaving ripples of goodness across time. Our decency brings to us an attitude of civility. We begin to show respect for all, especially those with whom we disagree. We smile, and people smile back. We listen, and people listen back. And so the ripples grow.
In civility, we become more conscious of the need around us– which leads us into acts of charity. We open doors to better futures for those we serve. Those who have received goodness soon seek to share it– love-ripples swelling higher.
Decency, civility and charity– all of these create the conditions for a healthier democracy. We commit to work within it to resolve our differences. We begin to see that what one side does in one election cycle impacts what the other side does in the next. So we compete within the guardrails, and work to strengthen the guardrails for the future. And so swells a rising wave of unity, flowing through our diversity. E pluribus unum– in many, one.
Emboldened by a strong democracy, we gain the moral clarity and credibility to advance ethical diplomacy. Diplomacy depends on trust, built up slowly over time, supported by many reciprocal acts large and small-- all connected in time. Blessed are the peacemakers who stir the winds of healing, washing whitecaps of goodness onto other shores.
With geopolitical stability and trust strengthened, it becomes possible for leaders in every nation to come together to advance the work to heal our planet. Sustainability is, in essence, lived-out love for future generations. Because we care about our children’s children’s children, we appreciate our planet. We rise to the challenge of saving and repairing it. We work towards a pay-it-forward, reciprocal world-- where what we take from the planet and what we give back to it come into balance. Until the waves of goodness have risen so high they have shifted the sands of time itself.
You’re here for just a blink, good leader. What ripples will you make in the sea of God’s love? I pray you will find, love and follow God– today and for all your tomorrows– so that the ripples of your life become a blessing to the world.
Next week, we’ll have a chance to ponder the diversity of beliefs in our world, and what it means for Christian leaders.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” --Ecclesiastes 3:11
Spend your days well,
Previous Weeks' Letters: