Father Richard Rohr says "We cannot attain the presence of God because we're already totally IN the presence of God. What's absent is awareness. Little do we realize that God is maintaining us in existence with every breath we take. As we take another it means that God is choosing us now and now and now."
How lovely to think that with each expansion of the lungs, God is choosing us again and again and again. Isn't His presence so tangible in that context? I feel like I am finally understanding that God is always near to me. What my heart has known, the conditioning of my religion has made me doubt in my mind. There was always a sense of fighting to be near the presence of God. Fighting to do what's right, fighting to be pure so that God could stand my presence. An impossibility of barriers. I was told to contend - which a person must - but was given the wrong definition. Contending isn't a futile fight for purity. It's not a list of prohibitions or bartering or the right sequence of prayers. And it's most definitely not the cleaning up of one's own sin. Contending is simply submitting the mind to Christ so that the truth can be unburied and we can come out from the tomb. We don't contend for God's presence, because he is always with us. We contend with the lies that hold us back from experiencing His nearness. Our world is lit up with burning bushes, we only have to ask for eyes to see them. The rest of the time, we are to believe he is with us simply because we are still breathing.