The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus,
seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.
He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said,
“Why does this generation seek a sign?
Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”
Then he left them, got into the boat again,
and went off to the other shore.
Mk 8: 11-13
I believe we are all seeking something greater than ourselves. It is in our human nature to hope for something bigger and to pursue a connection with it. Whether you want to call it purpose, fate, God, or love, we are all looking for something outside of ourselves that makes our lives matter. As the answer-seeking humans that we are, we want proof that that those things exist, and often in the wrong places.
The wonderful thing about God though, is that no sign is sufficient. I have had brief and cherished moments in my life where I am overwhelmed by the realization of how little I know of God. These are incredible moments, but they freak me out a little to be honest. I can’t imagine what it would be like to actually know what God’s existence entails. I don’t think I could handle it.
The final point to realize here is that signs of God are actually everywhere, in every person we encounter, every cold snowy morning, every bit of knowledge we learn, every mistake we make, every creation that enters into the world. The problem is not that the world is without signs of God. Rather, the problem is that we are often too preoccupied with other things to see them. My challenge for myself today (and for you if you are up for it) is to actually seek God in all things. After hearing that phrase from the Jesuits for almost eight years I think I might give it a try!