1 Peter 1 :18a says,
“Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God.” [Msg]
Words of choice: journey, must, consciousness
Well then, I know I’m on a journey that is a non-opt-out type of journey through life. Now I must move on to what is probably the toughest part of this whole verse: consciousness.
Words that come to mind when I think about consciousness are aware, fully alive, awake, watchful, active.
On the contrary, when I think of unconsciousness I think of words like asleep, near death, comatose, frozen, corpse.
Furthermore, being conscious is not the only thing we’re asked to do here. This is deep consciousness. This is also consciousness of God. Let’s start by exploring deep. Well, wait. I think I’ve hashed out and maybe beat you over the head with what deep means. Remember, think below the surface. Okay, so we’ve got that established. If you don’t seem to understand what I’m talking about, go back to “must we go there?” and re-read. Anyway, deepness with God is another subject entirely. Let’s go there instead.
Let’s revisit our childhood for a moment. We all remember “Jesus Loves Me.”
“Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.”
Great song. Gotta love those simple lyrics with a timeless truth engraved in them. Jesus loves me because the Bible said so. Perfect, right? As a child, I could believe that. Nothing really bad ever happened to me as a kid. I had no real reason NOT to believe this. Not everyone is so lucky, but that’s where I come from.
But what about as I’ve gotten older? I started experiencing times when I struggled to believe that Jesus really gave a rip about me. I needed more than a nursery rhyme to pull me through those times. I needed God’s love to be real. I was forced to experience Jesus on a “below the surface” level. It became evident to me that just reading the Bible’s John 3:16 about God’s love didn’t do it for me anymore.
It’s like hearing a great song overplayed. I remember “One Headlight” by the Wallflowers being played on every radio station at the same time one summer afternoon in 1998. I was so over that song, it lost its luster and meaning pretty quick. I either needed it to go away, or it needed to take on a deeper meaning personally. In this case, I purged it from my listening ear. In a spiritual sense, that would be suicide.
Instead of tuning out the truths we’ve learned as children, we must dig for deeper meanings that really grab onto something inside our souls. That sounded kind of hippie… but it’s truth. We must search for the deep consciousness of God that Peter talks about. We cannot stay on the surface level singing “Jesus Loves Me” and expect to foster a deep connection with Jesus. Don’t count on it happening if you’re still wearing your floaty in the pool.
So how can I obtain this consciousness of God that is beyond the shallow waters of young faith? I believe it starts with something called processing. So many things come at me, sacred and secular. If I don’t take the time to actually think about what’s happening in my life, sacred or secular, I run the risk of forever chilling out on the surface of faith. It starts with the brain shining a flashlight on the heart.
After the heart has given its peep show ( ha ha ), now it’s time for God to work. What areas are ugly? What areas are healthy? How can I help this situation with my friend, and how would God handle this issue at work? When I can APPLY what those timeless truths have been telling me for so long, that is when I know I have been diving deeper.
This is not something that is just a one time, Grammy winning achievement. I know, what a bummer. A deep consciousness of God is a constant goal of mine, and that whole active journey mumbo-jumbo is pretty helpful here too. Don’t expect to be very successful at doing this if you choose to be a static homebody. Get off the couch and get on your knees.