Reflections by Chuck Cluff, Atherton resident since 2004

Passage: Hebrews 13:5 “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

When we clearly understand God and God’s desire to share life with us we move our thinking from me to we. What a conceptual leap this is. It changes the whole way we look at life. God doesn’t want to be in the audience, God wants to be on stage. God does not want a vicarious relationship with us, he wants to actually be doing it with us. That happens when we invite God to participate with us and keep aware he is there.

Being too self-centered takes away from enjoyment. We are so concerned with how we are doing we don’t just enjoy ourselves or the experience. We are trapped in self focus. Freedom from ourselves leads to ease and pleasure as life unfolds. When we are overly centered on ourselves we are subconsciously, often consciously, watching how we are doing and on how others see us doing it. This subconscious awareness takes away from what a full experience can really be. We can’t really enjoy ourselves if we are always wondering how we look. That’s a drag, and it takes away from what could really be fun. Consciousness that we are not alone but have another person experiencing it with us helps free us from the tendency to overly do the ‘me’ thing.

That God wants to partner with us is huge. Who better would we want to join us along the way? Who could better know how to direct and guide us than the one who made us, who created us with something in mind. Finding out who we really are and being that is more likely to happen if we are joined with God, who knows exactly what the best life for us is. It is harder to be self-centered if we are thinking about someone else along with ourselves.

Knowing God is alongside us all the time puts a damper on saying what might not be good to say. It raises the bar on proper behavior also; being kind, thoughtful, loving and forgiving. God’s presence is not to restrain us from being the persons we are, having the personalities we have, It actually gives us the freedom to be who we are, for in pleasing God we don’t have to please everyone else. “How are we doing?” “Where would we like to go?” “Do we want to help that person?” This acknowledgment of we not meis the reality of the spiritual person who wants God to be a part of everything. All our questions, considerations and plans will have this relational feel if we keep in mind we are really not doing life alone.