I have practiced this prayer, which Jesus gave to Bill, for many years. In fact, at one time, I prayed it in its extended form every day for over a year. How amazed I was, then, to discover it in a deeper, newer way when I took it into my quiet time this morning.
My mind wandered, of course (!), for part of the time, but I kept bringing my attention back to the opening words: “Here I am, Lord,” consciously focusing my mind on them.
At one point, much later on in my hour-long meditation, (and in the middle of thinking about breakfast!), I was spontaneously swept by an immense feeling of joy in being there with God. Then came the thought:
“Here I am, Lord” doesn’t only mean that I am here with You, and for You, God. It also means that here with You is where I am––where I AM! I am only who I really am when I am with You, in You. Here in You I find my Self. I find my being, my I Am-ness.
As I sat there in that great sense of “I AM,” awash in tears, the joy seemed to grow and with it came a deep sense of longing and desire to live and be my I AM more fully. This sense came and went for a while, each time accompanied by deep emotion and tears of joy until it became all that there was. Health, work, household concerns, all became meaningless in my I AM.
I carried that sense into my day, but it was soon eclipsed by my work activities; yet now, hours later, tears still come to my eyes just thinking about it and telling you about it, and I am looking forward to bringing it into my evening quiet time.
Jesus gave Bill these words as a way for him to overcome his sense of separation, his sense of being split off from his own reality, cut off from the warmth of God’s love. In experiencing these words in this new way this morning, I felt that I had overcome all of that in myself and understood for a moment––a holy instant––what it means to be that which I am.