|There are 4 key
elements in finding God in our everyday lives.
God is there.
The realization, the conviction,
that God is there. After that, it is all very easy.
A belief in the Good News
- that Jesus won a victory over sin and death by his dying and rising for
Dying to Self.
Once I really realize
God is there, and become convinced of it, my heart hungers to find God there. Once my appetite is whet, I desire to find God in a much
different way than I look for my car keys. What I'm really desiring
is intimacy with God. I want to know I'm not alone in my life.
I want to be connected with God.
How is God there?
Or, "who am I connecting with?" God made this whole world and gave
life to each and every one of us who lives in it. God made us with purpose - that we be happy with God forever. So, we are not looking for or
connecting with a God who is distant or indifferent. Our God is passionately
engaged in drawing us to the fulness of life we were created for.
We are seeking to find a God who loves us and is always seeking
intimacy with us. It is simple. A sense of absence vanishes
when I am open to a sense of presence.
Living in the Good
I can hardly go through
a single day without encountering the reality of sin and death - in me
and in the world around me. One way to cope is to join in
our culture's denial of the reality of sin and death. Our faith gives
us another way. We have come to believe that Jesus is Lord, most
especially where sin and death seem to prevail. We have come to believe
that we can open our eyes and act fearlessly in the face of death.
We have come to believe we have nothing to fear. We have come to
believe that it is precisely in the places where we encounter the greatest
darkness or brokeness or confusion that we will find God. There we
discover our Savior. There we experience the Good News. It
is in those everyday places - where we taste frailty, unreliability,
emptiness - that we find God's love is most powerfully present. Attentive
faith finds the gift being offered in every human situation: a love and
a peace the world can not give.
When I don't fear
death as much, I am less afraid of dying to myself. It sounds so
obvious. When I'm absorbed with myself - my needs, how much attention
I'm getting, doing things my way, everything in reference to me - it is
pretty difficult to find God. The "space" inside of me is pre-occupied.
However, as my openness to and hunger for a loving presence grows, I am
de-selfished and freer. Often my self-pity or self-focus comes out
of a fear that I won't have "enough." I fear any "emptiness" so I
"fill" it quickly. However, when I ask to be emptied, I discover
an empowering fulness. When I become more and more focused on how
very much is being offered me in the loving presence of Jesus, discovered
in every part of my day, I discover the power of Augustine's prayer:
"O Lord, Our God, you have created us for yourself and our hearts are restless
until they rest in you."
Practice makes the
difference. What did we ever "get good at" that didn't involve lots
of practice? Changing my patterns, my habits, my routines may be
difficult, but I know that I am very resilient and quite resourceful when
I really want something. Choice is the key. Making
the choice to adopt some new patterns allows it to happen.
God is always choosing to be with me, in any way, in any situation I will
be open to. The choice to get better at meeting God there is all