Every spiritual director I have ever had has asked this question: Where is God in all this? (“this” being pain, or overwhelming, or life) This is also a question pastors and any religious person asks, but I identify it most with spiritual direction.
I admit, for a long time the answer was, “you know, in the middle, stirring the pot, comforting, pushing me to be better.” I didn’t always find it the most helpful question. After all, when your theological beliefs so deeply affirm that God is in everything and everywhere it’s a hard question to answer. But the “simple” question is actually a very complex one.
Where is God in all this?
“God is everywhere”. A good spiritual director would call bullshit on me right here. (“good” being relative and for me…)
God is everywhere! Bullshit.
Where is God in all this?
I don’t know. Somewhere? Nowhere? Crying in the corner crouched in the fetal position?
I admit that whenever I get asked this question I see an image like I am playing hide and seek with God. God being hidden and me walking around in the dark with a flashlight seeking.
I really don’t mean to make fun, it’s an important question and a serious one, but one I struggle to take seriously because it requires such depth. Such spiritual and emotional work, such admittance that I am not really in control.
You know… faith.
Where is God in all this? I don’t know I TOO TIRED TO FIND GOD!
We take in information and have more choices then any person ever before us. It’s not just a 24 hour news cycle, but I know everything that’s happening is my hundred’s of Facebook friend’s lives right now. I have more decisions over which cereal to buy than my ancestors did about what they ate in a year.
My brain cannot handle it all.
And then you want me to process where God is in the midst of it all? It’s too much. Too damn much.
But honestly, truthfully, the cost of not asking this question is too high.
Without taking the time to meditate, to reflect, to shut down, to feel – I am doing myself and everyone around me a disservice.
It’s not enough for me to go around telling people what my faith is or what my faith believes, or even what the bible says, for without requiring myself to take the time to connect with God, to find God in my midst then I am but a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
And there’s enough noise in the world.
Where is God in all this? God is in the love. Where is love in all this? Am I connecting to it? Am I allowing myself to feel love? Am I allowing myself to give love? Am I allowing others to love me?
The price of continuing on without answering these questions is simply too high. I have to stop, breathe, reflect, and feel.
Where is God in all this? God is in the love, always. Always in the extension of love. Now say it again, not just with feeling but by feeling.
Be gentle with yourselves friends. For you are so very loved, even if you (or I) can’t feel it.