I know that God is real. Don’t ask me to tell you what his/her/their true name is. Don’t ask me to tell you how much of the Bible is literally true, and how much is (while still enlightening) myth or metaphor or Hebrew history. Don’t ask me to tell you how the energy of God – which goes by many names – works.
I just know what I know. And what I know is that God – that energy of Life and Growth and Connection and Holiness – is available to me in every moment. I also know that God is available to YOU in every moment.
How do I know this? Because every time – EVERY TIME – I’ve cleared my mind and settled my nervous system, peace was there. Love and connection and grace and guidance were there. And every time – EVERY TIME – I’ve led my directees and retreatants into stillness, peace was there. Love and connection and grace and guidance were there. Whenever we open our eyes to look, open our ears to listen and open our hearts to feel, God is there.
I know this, without a doubt. And yet, I do have doubts. I doubt that it is safe for me to trust God, because I’m afraid that God will ask too much of me. I doubt when I do not see my desired response to my prayers, because I want things to turn out the way I want them to turn out. I doubt when I keep my heart closed from hearing the truth, because the truth might be uncomfortable and might require me to change. Sometimes I would rather doubt than be challenged by God’s invitations to grow.
I know that God (that energy of Life and Growth and Connection and Holiness) is real, and present, and aching to be involved in our lives. But all too often, I tell myself that this or that little problem is not worth “bothering” God about, that my petty problems are insignificant in the grand scheme of Life. And it is true – my petty problems are insignificant in the grand scheme of Life. But they are not insignificant to God. Because God knows that it is those petty problems that are clouding my mind, hardening my heart, keeping me anxious, and putting up a wall of separation between us. Some people call that “sin” – but that’s not a word I use much because it is so loaded with shame and guilt. And what I know of God is not shame and guilt, but openness and healing and guidance and joy. God longs for us to bring our petty problems, so that God can solve and resolve them in a way that only God’s grace can.
I know that God is real, and yet I deny God daily. I do not acknowledge God’s role in every good thing that happens to me, preferring to take credit for making wise decisions and good choices that lead to good outcomes. But without God’s blessing, I would not be making those good choices. I do not always follow when I feel God’s nudging, rationalizing that it may just be a random thought passing through my mind. After all, who am I to be hearing the voice of God? I sometimes ignore God’s guidance, because I am not willing to risk reaching out, going first, facing rejection.
Rational-lies, all of them. God is present, God is here. God is here for me, and God is here for you. But we have to stop the rational-lies-ing. We have to open our hearts to the truth. Daily. Hourly. Moment by moment. Every moment is an opportunity to wake up and serve God. Every moment is an opportunity to acknowledge God and follow the path that leads to Life. Every moment is an opportunity to participate in God’s continuing creation – or to refuse to.
Which will you choose, in this moment?