“YHWH your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; who will rejoice over you with gladness; whose love will renew you; who will exult over you with loud singing.” - Zephaniah 3:17
During one of my Seminary classes, the professor asked everyone to introduce themselves to the class. We all introduced ourselves by describing what we were doing: we said our names, what degree we were pursuing, and which church we were doing our in-ministry year with. My professor pointed out that in God’s eyes, we are human beings, not human doings. He challenged us to introduce ourselves again, but without saying what we did, and instead describing who we are as beings. We all struggled.
Our culture over-emphasizes productivity and work. Our self-knowledge is based on what we do. We have a habit of measuring the worth of others by their “contribution to society.” But, God takes delight in us simply as human beings. As Zephaniah wrote: God is in our midst rejoicing over us with gladness. God takes delight in us simply because we exist.
We often neglect our prayer life because it’s not productive. And yet, how could we not spend more time with One who takes delight in us simply because we exist? I encourage you to spend more time in prayer with God. In fact, feel free to waste time with God. Spending more time in God’s presence will enable you to absorb God’s delight in you. You will learn to see yourself as God sees you—one worth rejoicing over! And you will learn to see others that way, too.
Closeness with God changes our understanding of value and worth. We learn to see ourselves and others as human beings rather than human doings. We learn to highly value the whole earth, the other creatures and plants, water and air simply because they exist. So, let us waste time with God, and delight in the One who takes so much delight in us.
Grace and peace, Rev. Sarina