The movie “Inception” is one of my favorites. An idea that is talked about throughout the movie is that it’s hard to know when you are in reality, because they go in and out of dreams. You can be in a dream so long that the dreams becomes your reality. So, each character in the movie creates there own totem, or small item. The point of this is item is to know when you are back to reality. For instance, Leonardo Decaprio’s character has a spin top and when he is still dreaming it will never topple. He knows when it falls he is back to reality.
Some of my favorite moments in the Bible are when God speaks to people. I love these moments because whoever God is speaking to is never the same. In this moments they are so moved they have to do something. They don’t respond with, “Well, that was nice. What are we having for dinner tonight.”
What many of them do in this moment is build an alter. When I think of the word alter I picture something at the front of a church where you go to pray after the sermon. This isn’t the type of alter they build after an encounter with God. They weren’t building a space to pray. They are building a reminder.
They know they have to remember what has just happened. They know this encounter with God is going to change everything. They aren’t going to be same person they once were. So build an alter to remember when God showed up. These alters symbolize a remembrance but it also says, “I can’t forget this. God came to me right here and my life was never the same.”
It can be hard for me to “feel” God’s presence. I can remember back to times when I know God showed up.
I believe God showed up in my choice to go MVNU. I believe He was there when I ask my girlfriend at the time who is now my wife to marry me. I believe God lead my wife and I to pack up everything and move to Chicago.
Even in the midst of knowing these things I can still doubt God’s presence. Just like inception, what if I build an alter of sorts. What if I created something small that I could carry around with me. I could carry this with me as a daily reminder of what God has done in my life and this would also show me that God isn’t done with me yet. God is still working in my life.
This item may only have meaning to me but as I carry it around with me I will remember when God showed up. As I remember those times when God change my life forever I will be more aware of His presence and when I feel as though God is far from me, I can go back to that “alter” and remember the things God has done in my life. I can be reminded about the reality that God is always with me.