I just came across something where a person talked about how she was looking for God and the various places she thought she could go to find Him. (Her words..not mine.)
Something about it didn’t sit well with me, and I’m still trying to figure out what.
But maybe it’s that when I read a statement like that I see a certain level of arrogance at times. Now not everyone who says they are “looking for God” is doing so in an arrogant way. There are seekers aplenty out there. But earnest seeking is different than what so often seems to pass as “looking for God.”
There’s a certain way in which people have bad days or off days or are for some reason living in what I would call the Silence of God. The Silence of God is somewhat like when your father/mother/trusted guardian was teaching you to ride a bike. They’d hold on a ways and then let go. You wouldn’t feel them holding you anymore. But they were always right there watching–letting you find your own balance, using the tools they’d given you. That’s a Silence of God. I’ve lived through several of them and they’re hard, but they’re ultimately very good for you. Because you learn to balance on your own. Once you realise that God is always there and All will be well and All shall be well and all manner of things shall be well you know that you’ll come out safely at the end of the driveway with a big, reassuring hug and the knowledge that you peddled your own way through it.
But there are these times where people take themselves away from God. They willingly say “I’m done here”, either verbally or in some type of rebellious attitude by embracing the things they know God has forbidden. They’re like angry teenagers storming out of the living room because they can’t have the keys to the car to go to a party where there’s underage drinking.
And then they start to moan about how they can’t find God. Now, if you aren’t a Christian I’m assuming you’ve got a dozen different thoughts on this and I know our theologies differ. But in Christianity we believe that God made everything and is over everything. So to say you can’t find a God who is literally everywhere–including pounding at the door to your heart, begging to be invited into your life–is almost a sign of stubbornness.
Because more often than not what you really want is for God to give you the keys to the car. To let you drink underage and not mind. You want to feel completely okay with whatever path you’ve chosen. And you want your conversation with God to be wholly on your terms.
“I’ll look for God in the Meadows”
Yes, God is there. But God is also in the desert. In the barren high places of mountaintops where nothing grows but snow. In the trenches of the ocean with the monsters of the deep. God is in the easy places. But God is also in the hard places. To only seek God in the places you deem comforting and lovely is to be demanding that God only comfort you and offer you loveliness. It’s being in puppy love with God. It’s recasting God in the roll of Chachi.
God can and will give you solace, loveliness and comfort. But God can also give you so much more. It pays to look for God in the rock. In the hard place. Because then you and God go to so many new and unexpected places. And you learn to ride free with the wind at your back and the world speeding by too fast to touch you.