Blog # 397 God's Plan
Moses reminded the people who followed him they did not have to look to faraway places to find God's law or plan for them. It was as close as they were to themselves. All they had to do was carry it out. "This command I enjoin on you is not too mysterious and remote for you. It is not up in the sky, that you should say. "Who will go up in the sky to get it for us and tell us of it, that we may carry it out? Nor is it across the sea, that we should say, "Who will cross the sea to get it for us and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?" No, it is something very near to you, already in your mouths and in your hearts; you have only to carry it out." (Deut. 30: 11 - 14). In other words do not spend the time and energy I am giving you today post-poning or neglecting the obedience to which I am calling you, until tomorrow, when you may or may not be alive.
Then on one occasion when Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the reign of God would come, He replied: "You cannot tell by careful watching when the reign of God will come. Neither is it a matter of reporting that it is 'here' or 'there'. The reign of God is already in your midst". (Luke 17: 20,21). The reign or Kingdom of God is wherever and whenever God rules, or God's will is done. And since nothing exists without God willing it to be, Jesus told us in His reply to the Pharisees the reign of God is wherever and whenever you sincerely seek it and desire to obey. Then all you have to do is carry it out.
From the very beginning and throughout the course of His teaching ministry Jesus focused all the commands of God precisely in the command we all have to love God and one another, God above all, and others as ourselves.
Since all genuine love is based on freedom, it must be presumed that our love for God and one another is to be free, that is, it will come about because we desire or want it to be. If our relationship with God and one another is not based on freedom it will not be a genuine relationship of love.
If our relationships are based primarily on fear we are slaves or servants of one another rather than friends. If our relationships are based on habit, tradition, or the seeking of reward, we are something like animals in a circus, well trained perhaps, but not experiencing love.
Moses reminds us the truth of all of this is not far away. We know it is true in or hearts. The problem is to keep ourselves reminded of it, and carry it out. Love is free. We have to desire it and choose it for it to be love.
It seems to be one of the major reasons we do not have a more loving world is not that people are evil or incapable of love, but rather, number one, we do not keep ourselves aware of the many opportunities and invitations to love in our everyday life, and that goes for our love for one another as well as our love for God. Number two, we do not expect love to be as close and as pervasive as it can be. Finally, we do not consciously enjoy our love, that, as well, our love for God and one another.
Just a couple of examples. When is the most recent time you remember having a toothpick remind you of God's love or invite you to a deeper and more meaningful love for God? That possibility is within you, as Moses reminds us, right now. We realize there is a process and several steps between the toothpick and a tree if we stop to consider it, but who does? Yet every wooden toothpick comes from a tree, and every tree eventually leads us to God. Then, standing before God, we are in the presence of love. This experience should be enjoyable. Aware of this kind of possibility in a toothpick, we expect something similar to occur in other experiences in our day, and we enjoy the experience of God's love.
A similar process can be experienced with regard to our love for one another. Whenever I pass a cemetery I pray a short prayer for the people buried there, that they may be in eternal happiness, in thanksgiving for the blessings they received in their lives on earth, and in reparation for their sins. I also have thought how some of those people whom I have not known would likely have been more holy and happy in their lifetime if they had been less lonely, more generous, less angry, and more patient. Then recognizing these thoughts as part of God's plan and love for me, in tribute to the people in the cemetery, I pledge that I will try to be more generous and more patient, less lonely and less angry, more happy and more holy. In a way, though they may not know it, but God does, they are a gift to me. Love is close again, and I enjoy it.
"...all you have to do is carry it out." Thank you Moses. Thank You Jesus. And thank you, for being my friend, and reading my blog!