Saturday, December 15, 2007

God is near

Too many of us think of God as someone “out there” or “far out there.” We cry out in our prayers “Lord come to me and save me.” There is a story of a master who says to his students “I will give an orange to anyone who can tell me where God is.” One of the students replies “I will give you two oranges if you can tell me where God is not!” The moral of the story is God is everywhere, there is no place that God is not.

God is already here, we are the ones who are not here. We don’t know how to be here, we are not here to complete the relationship, the dialogue and the conversation. We are always running to the future or living in the past, we are anywhere but here, NOW! Here just seems to be too boring and inadequate. When we are doing the dishes we are thinking about that rude sales clerk. We do not notice the way the water bounces off the glasses, the lemony smell of the soap or the smoothness of the plates. I mean why should we, its just mundane, boring stuff!

Many of us will never reach the state where we are fully awake to the present and can see the magic of everyday experiences for any length of time. We are slow to recognize that living in the NOW reduces stress, reduces our pulse rate and lead us to inner peace and a more enjoyable life.

There is a simple technique that brings us into the present. Our body is the secret, our body is always in the present, simply be aware of what your five senses are telling you. Be aware of breathing in and breathing out without trying to change it. You can do this anywhere. When you are out walking, instead of thinking, feel the sun on your face or listen to the sound of the leaves fluttering. The body is rooted in the present but the mind is a flirt. It darts all over the place, the past and the future.

Living in the present is not easy, it takes practice. It’s like reminding yourself to stand up straight.

We are temples of the Holy Spirit, if God lives in us shouldn’t we wake up full of the Spirit and live in that constant awareness all day long? There can be no relationship with God without a determined effort. The everyday hustles of life push aside thoughts of God. How then do we keep from forgetting? Can it be that we put God in this box or special place and we can only find Him there? Sitting on a bus may seem an unlikely place to find God, but remember God is where we are. What can be more natural than keeping in touch with God who is with us all the time? Scripture tells us ”Be still and know that God is with you.” Musicians say that what makes music is the silence between the notes. God is found in the silence, He is present invited or not. God does not ask us for much, the smallest heartfelt remembrance will always please Him.

God is nearer to us than we think. He is found in the hustle and bustle of our lives, in crowded buses and trains, noisy homes and offices. We meet Him not only in church but in the supermarkets, waiting at the doctor’s office and in the airport. The ground we stand on is holy ground. The space we occupy is sacred space. We are called to be disciples in the hustle of our daily lives, we are not meant to be one person in church and one person at home.