Read: Don't Worship, Just Breathe: Part One
Religion, for thousands of years, instead of setting people free, has divided them against themselves. It split their personalities. James references this when he says, “If any one of you is double-minded, don’t think to ask God for anything because he won’t give it.” This double-mindedness refers to our picture of God and us as 'separate'; and of Heaven and earth as two different places. You know this, because he later says, “Those who come to him must know that he gives wisdom without prejudice.” Or, God doesn’t look at who’s asking. How holy are they? Are they from the line of David? Have they prayed lately? Slept around too much? No. That’s not how god operates.
Timeless, perfect God
He’s not a god who goes in and out and back and forth. We think he might, but he doesn’t. He sends rain on prostitutes and saints, gives wisdom to rabbis and roman centurions. Double-minded then, is any thinking that engages god outside of his nature – which is timeless, perfect inclusion.
He stands at the door of our hearts and wants to party there. The place that beats 60-90 times a minute as you breathe 10-20 times a minute. The place where you are most alive, where it’s most crucial for you to be connected to this universe is the oxygen around you going in and out, and if stopped, in 60 seconds you’d be dead.
It is very real and literal and connected, and it involves hair and zits and fingernails and butts and emotions and anger and eye lashes and teeth and blood and jokes and beer and the whole thing.
So we’re invited into a healing of the perception that separates.
A healing of “the eye of the body, being full of light, how great is that light?”
A day is coming, and is here, where people will just breathe, just “be still and know”, just “submit, respect, bow to the holiness of their inhale and exhale.”
What is our perception?
Sin then, is the opposite story. The story that believes this isn’t true: he’s not that close, we’re not that ok, we are certainly guilty, cut off. The punishment for this sin is indirect - your own anxiety. Whether we see God as internal and infinitely connected or not, it doesn’t change the reality. God doesn’t just show up when your head finally imagines the correct picture, that would be the god of the mountain or the temple.
God and you are one and nothing - no song, dance, commitment, party, conference or 30 day fast will make you more unified with the trinity.
That’s just reality, and we’re welcomed and blessed to see it and receive it.
Our hardest struggle is perception. We must ponder: If God and I are as unified and close and connected as I could ever be…
What would that mean?
What am I missing out on?
How would I interpret things differently?
How would I pray?
Is there an awareness, a reality, hints, blessings, moments of divine light I’m just not noticing because this whole time my eyes have been looking upward and away from myself?
Does this mean I can trust my thoughts, feelings, instincts, dreams, goals, decisions differently?
Does this mean I could have been walking right through Eden, this whole time, and never noticed it, all because I thought I was naked?
Does this mean heaven and earth really are one, I just never knew it?
If God and I are one – I’m in his heart, he’s in my heart – what does that say about me?
It doesn’t take great faith to believe that old story of separation. It takes great faith to believe that God and you are really, possibly, so good.
And all you have to do…is breathe.
Ronnie is an artist who's ideas have launched businesses, apps, music albums, and as of late, cartoons. Visit his website here. He thinks outside the box but don't tell him that, he doesn't believe in boxes, unless you're in a movie cinema. Ronnie lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A. with his wife Anna and their three boys Jack, Griffin and Maverick.
See previous articles by Ronnie Herrema