Faith and spirituality undergo many different incarnations as one moves through life.
My personal journey, like most other humans in this world, has taken me down paths and highways I never imagined. And, honestly, sometimes I don’t enjoy the scenery such locales provide.
So often I travel along those pothole-ridden roads and find myself face-to-face with ugly sentiments that I try so hard to eliminate from my psychological repertoire. Emotions like hatred, self-loathing, jealousy, anger, greed, fear, doubt, and apathy all creep into my mind, threatening to destroy my hard-earned peace of mind, self-assurance, and generally cheerful and optimistic outlook on life. I struggle with the concept of faith and re-visit my distrust of those professing immovable and steadfast belief and understanding in how they feel both the spiritual and physical world should operate.
My inner cynic surfaces in full vengeance as I privately curse the last person who helped me find peace in my most recent spiritual turmoil, fooling me into believing that, at last, I have life’s mysteries all figured out. That cynic mocks my convictions and makes me question everything I’ve ever believed up until that moment. Indeed, all the previous moments in my life have led me to this precise moment in time when I begrudgingly realize that everything I’ve thought and learned thus far is, essentially, wrong.
It breaks me.
And then, out of nowhere, a statement is spoken or written or a cloud lifts and a sliver of light - just big enough to let me see some small detail I never noticed before - breaks through my darkened surroundings and I find solace and enlightenment.
These are the moments when I most see God.
When I’m busy working my mind and trying to sort out what i’m supposed to be feeling, doing, saying, that is when I experience some sort of epiphany. Some sort of window into that other world where only our ethereal selves abide. There, my spirit convenes with other spirits. There, more of life’s great secrets are revealed to me. Well, not Life's great secrets, but My Life’s great secrets. There, I learn more of what it is I’m supposed to be accomplishing with my time as a physical being.
“God is a verb, not a noun,” I once heard a priest say.
I like this definition of a Higher Power. Instead of thinking of Providence as some sort of Being who will reveal him- or her- self to us in due time, perhaps it’s better to realize that the Divine is already there, waiting for us to understand what it is that our spiritual selves need to be doing, as opposed to simply being. The Divine happens whenever our souls connect with other souls. The connection doesn’t even have to be mutual, as all of us are on different journeys at any given moment in time. But we must act in order for it to happen. Every moment we spend recognizing our similarities with those around us, that is when we find God. Every thought or action that enables us to empathize with others, realizing that we are, every single one of us, members of the same family, homo sapiens - humans - God is there.
God is in the action, the action that demonstrates love.
What do YOU need to do in order to experience the Divine in your life?