Thursday, March 22, 2012

there is no point B!

There is no point B.
Did you know that?  I didn’t.  In my Christian life, I always thought I was supposed to be moving from point A (acceptance of Christ and initial salvation) to point B (final perfection and glorification).  And this assumption always left me with a nagging sense of guilt, because no matter how many lessons I learned (or how many times I circled back around to learn the same lesson at a deeper level), I never seemed to be getting any closer to the goal.  Nor did I ever seem to be experiencing any more of Christ, regardless of what spiritual disciplines I tried or how much I dutifully read my Bible.  
Guess what?  There is no point B!  
There is only point A, and more of A, which is to say, there is only Jesus and more of Jesus until his love envelopes all that you are, defines all that you are, and is powerfully expressed in everything you touch.”  

~Judith Hougen, Transformed Into Fire
Wow.  If this is true, I have already reached my destination.  I’m already there!  I already have the complete, glorious fullness of Christ wondrously living, breathing in me.  All that’s left is to discover the reality of Him-in-me more deeply and fully every day, to learn how to experience His love minute by minute, and to live out of that experience of love.  

On the previous page, Judith shares a quote from Thomas Merton, prefaced with the comment, “A few times in my life, I’ve read something and instantly known that my life lived on the other side of those words would never be the same.”  I felt a little skeptical, like, would what came next actually live up to that description in my own life?  
It did.
Merton is talking about prayer, but his thoughts can be expanded to the whole spiritual journey into discovering your true self in Christ:
“We were indoctrinated so much into means and ends that we don’t realize that there is a different dimension in the life of prayer.  In technology you have this horizontal progress, where you must start at one point and move to another and then another.  But that is not the way to build a life of prayer.  In prayer we discover what we already have.  And you realize that you are already there.  We already have everything, but we don’t know it and we don’t experience it.  Everything has been given to us in Christ.  All we need is to experience what we already possess.  The trouble is we aren’t taking time to do so.” 

~quoted in Transformed by Fire, p. 119 (emphasis mine)

I closed the book and got into the shower, with those words reverberating through my soul.

All I need is to experience what I already possess.

I closed my eyes and felt the warm water beating down on me, and I imagined the warm river of God’s love flowing over me and through me.  All I need is to experience what I already have: I’m already full to bursting with Christ’s Presence and power and love!  All that’s left is to choose to take long, slow minutes here and minutes there to close my eyes (or fully open my eyes) and experience Him, in me.  
I’ve been suddenly full of peace this morning.  The knowledge that there is no point B and that I can stop striving to get there and just be filled with Christ, the knowledge that all I have to do is enjoy what I already have, is setting me free.  

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