This particular essay is a love letter to my Indwelling Presence of God. Life is all about experience; and, it is only through experience that we come to appreciate reality.
I grew up in a home where there was a very authoritarian father, who at times caused the children to be intimidated. That was compounded by his own proclivity to alcohol and poor ethical choices. And so, that was my introduction to authority. I recall that sometimes I would climb up the outside of the house to get to my room on the second story, not due to any violation of curfew, but just because of the fear factor.
And so, within each of us is the greatest authority of the universe, God! Wow! The Creator, Controller, and Universal Upholder of All Reality. Now that is authority! Over the years, I have wondered about this Indwelling Presence and concerned that such an authority would swamp my own personality. Over the years, I have also been growing my contemplative experience with that Indwelling Divine Reality.
I am now fully convinced that this Indwelling Divine Reality has proven that it is not here to swamp, to override, or to dictate in any autocratic manner. As we look around the world today, we see plenty of such examples where people have given in to dictators and autocrats who are not partners, but rather self-serving. And so, personal experience and observation might cause one to draw back from any such Presence.
The Urantia Book, my highest source of inspiration outside of my personal experience, suggests that God is “prepersonal.” In other words, God never imposes. God invites personal relationship in such a gracious manner as to honor in an absolute manner each of us, as evolutionary souls on an eternal adventure. God has chosen to be prepersonal for just that reason. That, for me, has become the very essence of the word “grace!”
My contemplative experience has helped me to know, with certainty, that God’s Indwelling Presence is the very essence of what it means to be in partnership with God. Such a realization is not something that comes from reading a book, though such a book as The Urantia Book has been most helpful in discerning what is true, beautiful, and good.
My contemplative experience has helped me to know, with certainty, that God stands beyond gender, beyond culture, beyond race, beyond ethnicity, as that perfect friend, who stands in readiness to be a friend, a loyal and gracious friend, to engage the divine journey.
This is a gift! This is grace! For this, I shall be forever grateful!
I invite you to experience this very same realization. For deep within me, until fairly recently, there have been some reservations about the nature of this Divine Indwelling Presence. And wonderments about the divine journey. And now, I can say, with certainty, of the most beloved friend, of the truest of lovers, of the most gracious and beautiful Presence, of the very Epitome of Goodness, I have no doubt.