"Moonrise in the Desert"
-yesterday at dusk-
Last evening, the sun had just set, and as I looked toward the eastern mountains, a glorious full moon was rising in the desert skies. The silence was intense and awesome as the universe revealed the first light of the night skies. It was one of those "holy" moments that happen a lot to me out here - a holy moment where I sense a Holy Abiding Presence - so wildly beautiful, beyond words.
Whenever I stand within those holy desert moments, the thing I always sense is that in the great scope of it all, the desert is paying very little attention to "me." In fact, the desert is basically indifferent to me as a separate individual person. I am intimately connected to it all, but my ego is quite insignificant. Indeed the desert is not a place in which the ego thrives very well -and this is precisely why the desert is such a holy place.
As I stood in that holy moment yesterday at dusk and experienced the awesome yet intimate sense of a Holy Presence, the desert was teaching me another lesson. I was struck with the realization that just as the desert is indifferent to my ego, "God" is likewise indifferent to "me." "God" pays very little attention to my own individual "ego."
Yesterday as I browsed through some Twitter feeds, I came across a "tweet" that made me stop and pause. The tweet proclaimed: "God has a plan for you and your life." I read that little tweet and said out loud, "I don't believe that's true at all." Maybe when I was younger I might have believed that, but now I don't believe it's true at all- that God has a plan for "me" and for my life.
When I read yesterday's "tweet," I conjured up this image of God as some sort of superhero deity sitting somewhere in a divine control room looking at the lists of all the billions of people in the world, paying attention to each and every individual person. God in the control room, figuring out a divine plan for the course of every single person's individual life - all we need to do is discern the plan, go along with it, and we will all be happy.
Throughout my years as a priest I would often hear people say things like: "I am trying to discern God's plan for my life;" or "This is exactly where I think God wants me to be." (this was especially true when people had the idea that God was calling them to be a priest-it was in God's plan).
As I see it, I don't think "God" actually pays all that much attention to any of our own individual personal lives. I think "God" is indifferent to the individual ego.
So many times we make God so small and make our own ego so big. We imagine "God" to be something like a heavenly lucky charm - take him out when we need "Him." We pray to God for good weather, ask God to make our team win the Super Bowl, or petition God to tell us about that special plan He has so carefully worked out for each of our lives. God is so small and "I" am so big.
The desert teaches me to turn it all around. It teaches a lesson of Holy indifference - "God" is so big and I am so small.
God is not a personal superhero who controls it all and makes things happen for "me." God is so much bigger than that. "God" is wild, untamed, unnamed and unnameable beauty, intimately abiding - flowing through all being connecting it all in the energy of universal love, and paying very little attention to the personal lives or needs or wants of any one individual ego. God is indifferent to the ego.
As I sit in my garden this morning at the beginning of a new day, I stand in awe of the majestic intimacy of it all, and sing the praises of a God of Holy Indifference.