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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Thursday, October 15

Where can I go then from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I climb up to heaven, you are there;
if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there your hand will lead me
and your right hand hold me fast.
—Psalm 139:6-9

I have a friend named Scott who loves to scuba dive. His favorite experience is to go to a point where the shelf of the ocean drops off very severely, a mile or so straight down. From there he swims out and down until he gets to where he can look in any direction and everything looks the same—like infinity. He loves to be out far enough and deep enough that he can perceive no bottom and no top, no direction this way or that, a place where he is suspended in a silent womb of sensory deprivation.

He says that is where he feels closest to God. Wrapped in the life of the ocean, he is one with it. The ocean pervades all, surrounds his total being. The water that cradles him is simultaneously touching every shore at once all around the world, supporting ships and tankers, breathing and cleaning and feeding the entire planet's life.

Like water, God is pervasively present, flowing in, around, and through all life, filling spaces and changing everything with a subtle touch. Pervading us without displacing us. As Paul quotes the Greek poet, it is God "in whom we live and move and have our being." 

Touching the deepest depths of us, the invisible soul of our true selves, our deepest consciousness below thought and feeling—God is. Touching our edges also, our interactions with the world in an ebb and flow like the boundary between ocean and shoreline.

God is omnipresent. God's power is exercised in presence. The God "in whom we live and move and have our being" is equidistant from everything that is. Everything is present to God, therefore all things are at the center because God centers all.

Ever-present God, you are closer to me than my breath; breathe me with your Spirit that I may be one with your life, and thus at peace with all creation. Amen

These Signposts were originally published on in 2005.