If you’ve ever been on a long road trip, ever been lost in the mall, ever wandered an amusement park, you know the value of a map. And when you stop on that road trip or shopping expedition or quest for a thrill ride, you look to the map to not only get an idea of where your destination is, but where you are in relation to it. Especially in the mall or at the amusement park, seeing the words “YOU ARE HERE” gives you definition and clarity by identifying where you are right now.
And once you’ve established where you are, you now know how to better plan the moments ahead – what route to take, how long it will take, what provisions you might need, whom you may encounter, etc. And once planned, you’re off… No longer are you “here”, you are now someplace else, on your way to “there”.
Hold that thought for a moment and consider this. You may be familiar with the story of Moses meeting God for the first time at the burning bush, and God introducing himself to Moses as I AM. I had always thought of God as I AM in relation to his timelessness. But I’ve recently begun to grasp it’s much more than his timelessness, it’s about his presence. You need only read Psalm 139:7-16 to affirm the understanding God is not just everywhere. It’s better said, “GOD IS HERE.” Just as he is present at any time in history, he is also very present in any place in history.
And now I find myself asking this question while looking in the mirror, “What does it look like when I am where God is?” I suspect I begin to narrow my focus, reining in my thoughts of where I was or where I could be to where I am right now. And I think, that’s probably the point.
“YOU ARE HERE” is, yes, about location, but it’s as much these days about “presence”, that is, presence of mind. And more than ever, that’s the challenge, especially in today’s world. To be “here”, to be where God is most likely at work within me is to be present in both body and mind. And since I haven’t the means to be physically in two places at the same time, I might do better at being the me God’s called me to be by being where he is…right here and right now, looking at this screen, maybe even talking with me, maybe bidding me to listen to what he’s quietly saying.
Lesson for the day, because YOU ARE HERE and, for all practical purposes nowhere else , then, be here. God, the I AM, is here too. Look for him. Listen for him.
He is here. You are here. Where else would you rather be?
Executive Director, WCSG
CMB Board Member & Gold Member