God said, “I am”.
And it all went downhill from there.
Because we immediately began trying to figure out what that means.
And then we began to write it down.
And, of course, when something gets written (stone tablets, anyone?), it become solid. Solid truth. Unchanging truth.
But, contrary, to popular opinion, God is not unchanging. Neither should our knowledge of Him be unchanging.
Oh, there is an unchanging element of God. But it is that he is constantly changing.
How is that, you say? After all, we have the scriptures that say He is an unchanging God, the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Yep – He is unchanging in that He is always changing.
And as soon as we think we “know Him”, we’ve put Him in a box, and now He’s not God anymore. He’s something else. He’s whatever we have made of Him. We have created God in our own image – a graven image.
You see, we are the manifestations of God.
Imagine being perfect, complete, whole. Imagine being omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. Imagine being “I am”.
Really – go ahead. Think about it. Think hard!
Would there be any experience in that type of existence? You already are everything!!
But God is a creator. He created, and that creation is a (the?) manifestation of Him. And that creation is always changing. And it is through this creation that God experiences Himself. It is through that creation that God loves, for He is love. And WE are part of that creation. We are God, and He is us. And, heaven knows, we are always changing.
But are we…really? If we are God, and He is us, and He is unchanging, then how are we not, likewise, unchanging.
My head hurts!
So, there is a point to all of this. According to the Gospel of John, as recorded in chapter 17 of the King James version of the Bible, “…this is life eternal, to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent”.
So, I pretty much accept as fact that it behooves us to seek to know God, and to know Jesus Christ. Not Jesus the man, but Jesus in His Christhood – in His perfect love, without fear, without jealousy – in His “I am”. I accept that fact so much that it is the declared, before God and angels, goal and purpose of my life.
And this is a good thing. As long as I realize that I can never intellectually know God, and I can never fully know God, except as I experience Him. And any experience of God is impossible to put into words.
Yet we try. And when we do, we put Him a box. And then we tend to try to force that box on others. And then we get angry, or fearful, or threatened when someone else’s box doesn’t look the same as ours, or because they reject ours.
And now that we’ve become fearful, we’ve lost the love. We’ve become separated…from God, and from each of the other unique manifestations of His creation. And this separation manifests itself on the personal, family, community, church, national, and global levels. That is why we don’t have peace.
It is so important to realize that none of us know God completely.
It is so important the we cultivate a sense of gratitude for what we might have learned without thinking that our knowledge is more complete or more perfect than anyone else’s.
It is so important that we practice recognizing that every person; every animal, every tree, every flower, every rock, is a manifestation of God, and thus has God in them; and that when we fail to love them, we fail to love God Himself.
It is so important that we allow God to manifest Himself to us – and through us – in any way He chooses; and that we recognize the love in all of that great manifestation that we call creation.
It is so important that we do not create of Him a graven image of our own choosing, or of someone else’s choosing.
It is so important that we love Him in all of His glory, in all of His creation, manifesting through our own creation the very love than animates His creation; that it is through this perpetual web of creation that all things continue to be.
For this is how we keep His commandments, and this is the means by which men shall know that we are His disciples. This is what it means to “Take upon us the name of Christ”.
Perhaps then, when God says, “I am”, we can truly respond with “I know”.