Here and Now: I AM

In Moses’ encounter with God at the burning bush, we get the greatest revelation into the here-and -now life.  It is the name of God given to Moses: I AM (Exodus 3:14).  While likely referring to the aspect of God’s being (rather than to a particular activity), the name is also one that encompasses place (here) and time (now).

Obviously, God is present in quality and quantity beyond anything we can imagine or replicate.  But we are made in the image of God, and there is a creational congruence between who God is and who we are made to be.  And from God’s nature, we learn two important things about ours.

First, our greatest gift is our being–our “i am” offerings of ourselves to others.  Of course, we cannot separate being and doing, and we must always do what we can for others. But none of us lives very long without realizing there are times when what we have is sorely inadequate. But with an “i am” identity, we understand there is never a time when we have nothing to give.  In every moment we can give ourselves. We can be “present” to others here-and-now.

Second, an “i am” identity helps us to see the sufficiency and sacredness of the present moment. We do not need to live anywhere else or anytime else.  Life is here-and-now.  This second recognition enables us to fully invest ourselves in what is before us, just as God does.

An “I am” identity gives us the eyes to see and ears to hear what’s going on here-and-now, respond to it, and act accordingly.  The “I AM” God sees and hears the cries of the slaves in Egypt and comes down to deliver them.  With our “i am” identity we go and do likewise. Caring, compassion, and generosity are born and expressed by “i am” people–people alive in the present moment, in the here-and-now.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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