About a month ago or so, I joined the Dallas Willard is My Homeboy facebook group. (Yes, this group actually exists.) I share this to let you know that I am in love with the man, spiritually speaking, as I've stated in the past on the blog. Unlike his other fans on the facebook group, however, I have yet to read all his materials. I want to read them slowly, and over and over, so I can digest the truth and wrestle with it and be formed more deeply into the image of Jesus. So, just to clarify, with a bit of tongue in cheek, I'm in love with Jesus. And I respect the writing of DW because he points me to Jesus and his Kingdom so winsomely.
That said, I stumbled on to a video of Dallas last weekend. In it, some youngish folks, maybe some really hip millennials or something, were asking Dallas about his daily spiritual practices. Sort of a spiritual "day in the life of DW" kind of thing. If you're interested, you can watch the video here:
Here's what struck me from the video, something so small and obvious that it might just be revolutionary:
"The Lord is here."
Before his death earlier this year, Dallas would say this before rising out of bed each morning. It was a way of training himself to be mindful of the Lord's presence, that God is always with us. We are not alone in this life. And the reason that this small thing feels revolutionary is because when I'm discouraged, as I have felt lately, I forget this one true thing.
It feels like Satan is winning on a lot of fronts lately, and I feel powerless to change things, and I get lonely and discouraged. But since hearing this from Dallas, I've been practicing it each morning before I rise. "The Lord is here!"—because he is here. It is impossible for me to be truly alone, no matter what comes.
If it's good upon rising, it's good at other times, too. "The Lord is here" I remind myself when someone forgets we're supposed to meet, or I feel dejected about my childlessness, or I wonder if I'll ever find my way back into leadership in a church I love. "The Lord is here."
There is a constancy to this sentence, an understanding that God of all people will not run away from me. He is here, abiding with me, loving me, caring for me, pursuing me. Right here. I pray that no matter what you face today you'll be able to return to this one simple but true thing.
He is here. He is for you. He will never leave your nor forsake you.