It is helpful to know the foundations on which your own lifework are resting. To ask: what are the core underpinnings, or principles founded in who God is, which hold all my various life activities together. What are the fountains of Truth in God’s Being, from which all my rivulets of life activity flow. Regardless of the particulars, what is the universal, the core teachings or emphasis beneath our steps through each season of life?
For me, there are two core teachings. I think other people manifest these core truths in other fields. I manifest them in the arena of art and culture; others, in business or sports. Each of us has our own domain and land to dwell in and cultivate spiritually. Mine is creativity and the arts, and by extension- collectively-culture.
The two core teachings I tap into and move out from in Him, are: The Oneness or Integration of God; and His Absolute Lordship over every area of Reality. These two, aspects of Him can carry one a long distant!
His Oneness, implies that He is making all things-including people, cities, nations, the planet itself, one, whole, holy (same root word) expression, and integrating their disparate parts into one whole expression of identity. This works on the individual level and the collective. So we work to bring the cultural dimension of a city, for instance, back into its core identity, so its creativity can flow out of its true identity or self. That very work, of “sanctifying the imaginations of cities”, or individual people, is based on God’s Oneness, and desire to make His Creation whole or One.
The related Truth of His absolute Lordship over all of Reality, means that there is no dimension of Reality itself, where one cannot meet God. This means that in dream, vision, art or any aspect of the symbolic life of humans, we are capable of meeting the Lord over that realm, who is God. This brings a fearlessness to our spiritualities, which is hard to stop. Where can I go, where Your Spirit is not present? David asked. No where. The absolute omniscient Lordship of Christ means that He is able to meet us in the dream realm, in the symbolic realms, in death or life. He has gone even to the darkest regions, and brought the Light of His Presence. “He drapes the darkness in His Light, so that the night is as day to Him.”(Psalm 139)
By extension, this truth also means, that you can meet God in your past, your present, and in your future. To me, this is one of the reasons we pray for instance; and is one of the foundations for healing. To heal, or make one’s life more whole, is based on the fact that one can meet Jesus in the places where one was wounded in the past. It assumes that Jesus existed in the past, and was still Lord. And to prophecy also assumes that He is Lord in the future, and that He is working into the present to bring about His Future plans. To me it is a fun spiritual exercise to pray for your present situation from your future. It expands your notion of what God’s Presence includes in terms of time!
Returning to my theme, certain Truths are so Core that they apply to all of Reality. Being able to meet God in every conceivable dimension of Reality is one of these truths. God is Lord over all of Reality. So we are free to meet Him in dream, in art making, in war and peace, on the bottom of the sea, on the top of the heights, in the present, in the past, in praying from the future into the present, in writing, in reading the news, in watching cinema, in looking at art, in walking, in washing dishes, in taking out trash (this is what Brother Lawrence, in his book, “Practicing the Presence” taught so well)…there is simply no dimension of Being, that He cannot enter, and meet us. For from His Being, all life came and is sustained within. Even the spaces of rebellion, where Jesus seemed to have visited in the time between His Death and Resurrection, are not outside His Presence and Reach. For He even preached to the dead, and led many captives into freedom.
The freedom in this last truth, should make us fearless of death itself. But also, in my own area of interest, free to explore with God the depths of the symbolic dimension of Reality.
I do also think it is helpful to know which core truths are truly “yours”. That is, to know what your particular calling or life path emphasizes about God. What is being foregrounded about God through your own unique life. So, for me, you can see the nature of identity, and His creative freedom emphasized. For others, it is other amazing aspects of who He is. The God who is unified in Being, and diverse in expression! Each of us has a unique path prepared before hand to be our “way”(Ephesians 2:10). And this way, is a unique poem (poesia in Greek) emphasizing a central truth about who God is. In this sense, our very existence bears witness to who God is.
In the book of Revelation, we oversee the white stone room, where God has our secret names written. Only He can reveal to us who we are in this ultimate sense. But as we journey into Him and His Life, we begin to get clearer and more sustained glimpses into this ultimate mystery of our own identities. And in doing so, we become living meditations on aspects of who God is. This to me is the meanings of David’s psalm 139, where He is in wonder of his own self. This is not an egotistical moment; this is a moment of the creature beholding the Creator, through their own unique creatureliness! Wow–look at me, what a remarkable thing God has created.
To go on and allow God to really nuance your poem–ie the poem, you are–is such a great way to get to know God! All the earth and everything in it reflects in specific facets, its Creator. And we are one of those beings which also reflects His Being. In this sense, a spiritual autobiography is really about God.