I’m done with waiting for my next encounter.

I’m going to give thanks for everything I consume and everything I partake of and everything I engage with as though they were each different expressions of God saying directly to me: “I love you.”

I refuse to live like a love-starved beggar. I am not love-poor. I do not live in a poverty of love. No one lives in poverty—they waste away, they decay, they die.

I will subvert every experience of the ordinary, subduing them to serve the needs of love. The kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force.

Do I feel safe right now? I will receive this as a moment of “I love you.” Thank you, Jesus. Am I enjoying this meal? “I love you.” Thank you. Do I appreciate the way this table allows me to write comfortably? “I love you.” Thank you. Does a particular song pull on my heartstrings in all the best ways? “I love you.” Thank you!

I have a vast host of raw materials around me to frame within the context of love. I refuse to fail to take advantage of them. I refuse to allow a narrow-minded poverty paradigm tell me that only a few select and choice encounters, experiences, and interactions equal true love. I refuse to be a picky love-eater.

My next big love encounter could very well be found in the way the sunlight falls on the floor as easily as it could be found in a person literally saying the words “I love you,” or spending quality time with me or giving me gifts or a hug. God transcends space and time. Every moment could be a moment of quality time with Him. Every item I receive could be a gift from God. Every appropriate touch from someone could be a loving touch from God—we are all His ambassadors. Every thought of love, wonder, thrill, and satisfaction could be God’s own voice within my mind—His spirit dwells in me and interacts with me all the time.

Any mindset that allows for the idea that I am unloved is a mindset of rebellion against God because He gives us all things to enjoy.

I will do violence to apathy and self-pity. I will do violence to the ho-hum, mundane ordinary. I will do violence to the spirit (attitude) of poverty and desolation. I will find and experience the heavenly kingdom of love in the here and now. I will become the encounter I desire and go from one love encounter to even greater love encounters. My mind can re-wire my brain. My healthy loving thoughts can cause my DNA to reproduce correctly in healthy ways. I will restructure my experience by framing all things as coming to me out of love.

I’m done with waiting and pleading. I’m going to live like I’ve been answered, even before I’ve asked. I’m not waiting, I am enjoying and I even have enough to share.

I had a thought this morning: what if everywhere I went held a special meaning to me because I had memories of God’s presence there? What if I made it a point to acknowledge Jesus’ presence with me in every place that I set foot? What if I could look back on my activities throughout the day and remember each moment fondly because I experienced God everywhere I went? The fullness of His presence is the ultimate gift, and memories are the ultimate memorial. I think I understand partly what he means when the psalmist cries out in Psalm 103:2, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits.” (NASB)

All day today, I’ve had the words of a song playing through my head, “What does it sound like when you sing heaven’s song? What does it feel like when heaven comes down? What does it look like when God is all around? Let it come.” I feel my heart consumed with longing to realize each moment as an opportunity to acknowledge that Jesus is with me and thereby redeem the time. There will come a day when we get to enjoy God’s manifest presence without ceasing night and day—I want that to begin today. I can enjoy His presence right here and now to the degree that I set my love on Him. The only reason that I am not constantly overwhelmed by His love may be due to the fact that I am not completely consistent at setting my mind on things above and not on things on the earth.

What does it feel like when heaven comes down?