Demands

Everyday I write 750 words, sometimes more, never less, though on some days I can’t be bothered to engage and I have been known to cheat by typing the same words over and again.

Writing requires me to dig deeper into myself, which also requires (and is the same as) connecting with You. I cannot write words worth my while if I am not connected to myself-and-You, but it involves letting go of control of the flow of my thinking, and waiting. It is not in my gift to create. You are the Creator. On my best days I am a carefully crafted but empty cup into which You drop a coin, freshly-minted and bright.

Recently, I have found myself revisiting that time when You revealed Yourself to me and poured Yourself into me. What a deconstruction of my world that was! You unveiled the undiscover’d country and changed my life. You gave me a new vision of life. You gave me hope. Life was no longer what my upbringing and schooling told me it was. Life was no longer about performance and achievement. Life became living in the reality of Your undemanding-yet-demanding Presence.

[Aside: Revisiting experiences of God, which Ignatius calls “repetition”, is important for developing and deepening a relationship with God. It is akin to the ancient traditions of memoria dei and Practising the Presence of God. Please read this piece.]

The system within which we live makes multiple demands, from the demand to pay taxes, spent in ways over which we have little say, to the lure of advertising to be a new, improved, upgraded myself.

But You make no demands. Who I am is what You want.

Being with You is demanding, but in an entirely different way. Your Presence ‘demands’ my presence, as myself, with no performance.

I am beginning to get it that You want me exactly as I am. In the moment that You showed Yourself to me, I knew instinctively that You wanted nothing from me. Quite the reverse. You wanted to give Yourself to me. All I had to do was to say “Yes”; and who in their right mind wouldn’t?

Nevertheless, this is difficult to believe and embody in the fullness of its implications. It will take me a lifetime to know in my heart of hearts that I do not need to change.

So here’s the thing: God needs nothing from you. Contrary to the populist opinion that God places requirements upon you and expects your compliance, a god to whom atheism is the best response, God wishes to give you God’s-Self.

This is the coin that rattled into my beggar’s bowl today: God is a giver, not a taker.

God is God. You are loved more completely and comprehensively that you can imagine, whoever you are and whatever you have done. There are no requirements, no demands. Anyone, any institution, any church that tells you otherwise is very much mistaken, or is lying for their own gain.

One thought on “Demands

  1. Julian thank you for introducing me to 750 words over two years ago. I like the metaphor of God dropping a coin into your begging bowl. For me God leads me to treasure hidden in darkness [Isaiah 45:3]. There is a lot of darkness in my writing until, sometimes, ofttimes, I find Gods treasure for me. Today it was written in your blog, ‘You make no demand. Who I am is what you what’. Kinda liberating!!

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