with everything.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5)

When God creates, it isn’t in the way that humans create things, reshaping elements that already exist. The things that He has made are therefore genuinely meaningful, real, and important, while at the same time they are not God and do not deserve our worship. We have no inherent existence at all, no being apart from Him, but He has formed us with wisdom and compassion to be as we are.

This means that we can enjoy the blessings and the relationships that He has put around us, not just as ways in which we experience God, but as realities in themselves. The care that we have for people and the enjoyment of knowing them are real. The needs that we have for all kinds of things in creation are real. The needs that others have for us to fill are incredibly real. By valuing what God has created and our role in serving Him and others, we don’t negate the fact that He is the only one. Engaging with creation, we glorify His power in every aspect we experience; we become witnesses of the goodness He imbues into our world and into the people we love.

This is only possible when we put our love for Him above our love or need for anything else, learning to remember that nothing comes from itself. We exist both from Him and for Him, and this is the fullness of our worth. When He shows us what is good and what He asks from us, we can learn to give away our inclinations (however loud, or subtle) to depend on created things or devote ourselves fully to distraction with them. And that in itself makes the things we surrender become pure and incredibly precious parts of our relationship with God as they are returned to us. This is what He has created them to be, and us to be. We’ll spend our whole lives learning what engagement with creation will distract us, and what will draw us closer to serving and knowing God. But with our eyes on purity and truth we are free to accept every gift with holiness, for all that it is in its being, as we choose to pursue our maker as the only source of existence and joy.

If at the very deepest level of our experience we are alone with Him, we know that in truth we are far from being alone.


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