One of Jesus' most revealing one-liners is, "Rejoice only that your name is written in heaven!" (Luke 10:20). If we could fully trust this, it would change our whole life agenda. This discovery will not create overstated or presumptuous individualists, as religion usually fears, but instead makes all posturing and pretending largely unnecessary. Our core anxiety that we are not good enough is resolved from the beginning, and we can stop all our climbing, contending, criticizing, and competing. All "accessorizing" of any small, fragile self henceforth shows itself to be a massive waste of time and energy. Costume jewelry is just that, a small part of an already unnecessary costume.

Most of Christian history has largely put the cart of requirements before the "horsepower" itself, thinking that loads of carts, or "I have the best cart," will eventually produce the horse. It never does. The horsepower is precisely our experience of primal union with God. Find God, the primary source, and the spring water will forever keep flowing (Ezekiel 47:1–12; John 7:38) naturally. Once you know that, the problem of inferiority, unworthiness, or low self-esteem is resolved from the beginning and at the core. You can then spend your time much more positively, marching in the "triumphal parade" (2 Corinthians 2:14), as Paul so playfully calls it.

You see, the horse does all the work. Your work is of another kind: to stay calmly and happily on the road and not get back into the harness. St. Teresa of Avila used a similar metaphor when she described how you can either keep digging the channel or find the actual spring and let it just flow toward you, in you, and from you. Her entire mystical theology is about finding that Inner Flow and not wasting time digging trenches.

Excerpted from Immortal Diamond by Richard Rohr, copyright © 2013, used by permission of Jossey-Bass, a Wiley Imprint.