Living Awake!

The idea that God can be found in all things has been a rich and welcomed renovation in my life.  It is the practice of living awake.  I am coming to understand that the mystery that is God cannot be contained by my thoughts and the structures I use to think about God.  Neither do my experiences of God adequately encapsulate the vastness of our God.  While healthy thoughts and experiences are integral to a healthy faith, we come to realize God is so much bigger than our thoughts and experience.  It is here we soon discover a new kind of grace – a grace to rest in the character of the mysterious God instead of faith in our ability to understand God.

While not jettisoning healthy thinking and experience we simply open the box to God and how s/He may choose to reveal Himself.   Freeing God from the boxes we forge to contain Him does a number of things:

  • Allows us to discover a much bigger God than we knew before
  • To trust God even when we don't understand what is happening
  • Allows us to see greater meaning in even the most mundane tasks
  • Reassures us that we are not alone, and life does have meaning
  • Demonstrates once again that God is a present, interested and caring. The God, who is genuinely interested in you, – all of you!

Tim Muldoon wrote this in  "Why Young Adults Need Ignatian Spirituality" :

To speak about finding God in all things is to admit that no doctrine, no tradition, and no Scripture can exhaust the mystery that is God. It is to remember that our theology, our prayer, and our teaching are limited in their ability to convey this mystery and that as a result we must ultimately stand in awe before God. We who have grown up in a pluralistic world have seen good things in people of varied backgrounds; we know that any talk of ultimate truth must be humble before the vastness of human experience and creation.

On the flip side, to speak of God in all things is to remind us that ours is a sacramental understanding of God—God among us in the faces, the words and the gestures that make present the reality of grace. It is to emphasize that God is not distant and “other,” but present and intimate with us. It is to underscore the belief that our lives are not beyond the scope of God’s love, but rather they are already the objects of God’s care.

Some have said that to become aware of God, to be truly alive is like to awaken from sleep.  Personally, I have found it easy to go through life on autopilot being totally oblivious to the fingerprints of God all around me!  As I continue to learn to see through this new set of lens, I find myself struck by the wonder of the God-who-loves, whom I discover in the every day of life. In the smile of my 8-year-old, a conversation with mom struggling in a toxic marriage, a person dying of cancer, a spouse struggling with loss, a busy day at work, a sunset or relaxed moments with friends.  The most special times I suppose are the quiet times when I am alone, and every once in a while catch a glimpse of the wonder of God in me!

 

 

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