Week 50: more

I’ve heard it, I’ve prayed it: “More Lord, more God, we ask for more…”

If we come to God wanting “more” and receive nothing–no inspiration, feeling, experience, emotion, change, result, or answer–it’s still worthwhile. God is still worth it.

We do not “need” anything from God (hear me out here). We already have what we need if we have God, because God always has us.

Sometimes when I’m trying to pray or be silent or listen or do something spiritual, I tell God: “I don’t even want to be here right now. But I’m here all the same. Because you’re the best home I have.”

We don’t (always) need a result or outcome from “being with” God (as if God isn’t always with us already). We don’t (always) need a grand revelation or life-altering encounter. (I put “always” in parentheses to make it a little easier for those of us who can come to God for no other reason right now, which is okay sometimes, depending on our spiritual season.) There is often this talk of arriving somewhere or getting something. What do we really “need” from God that he hasn’t already given us? Why must we must always come away with a response? The words “pressing in” and “breakthrough” and “seeking, asking, knocking” have been tainted (for me at least) because they often seem to imply: if something doesn’t happen, maybe you missed it, or didn’t try or pray hard enough or read enough scripture or have enough faith or put in enough time.

Well, what if nothing does happen? Isn’t it enough, who we are and what we have in this moment? Of course, change is good and necessary sometimes. Of course, we should seek and ask and knock. But our desire for “more” or “other” cannot be our primary motive. This must be God for the sake of God. If it is, we might often find the present to have or to be precisely what we really need.

Go to God for the sake of God. Be content with this. Let this satisfy you. Once you’re full, then ask. But whatever does or does not happen, you’ll already be okay. 

And this is why I keep coming back. With God I don’t actually need to receive anything to possess what I really need–because I already have it. God has given me this strange, mysterious, inexplicable, miraculous life. And God has given me God. 

The ocean and its waves–their thunder and strength–was enough for me today. So were the birds of the sea gliding just above the water, or resting on rock. And the twisted coastal trees that sheltered me from the sun. Also the long walk that started by the ocean then took me over brown and green mountains under a hazy blue sky…the sand that held me, the fish that fed me, the cold ice cream and warm coffee. These are the answers from day to day, to all my unspoken prayers. I do not even ask for all the good, beautiful, undeserved gifts the earth and her creatures give to me. But here they are, constant, unbidden. I’ll take all the “more” I ever get. Meanwhile, here is what is. Isn’t life so miraculous already?

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