Do You Seek God? And yet, no matter how hard you try, you do not feel as if you can quite make it with God?
I understand. Which is why I write so much and so often about this. I have struggled most of my life looking for God…longing for God…but only occasionally ever feeling close to God. Instead, I mostly felt I was undeserving…not quite fit…missing something…as if I wasn’t doing enough…and, as a consequence, my sense of spiritual fulfillment usually left me feeling like a thirsty runner carrying an empty water bottle.
But then, one day, I unexpectedly understood something Saint Francis of Assisi was trying to say, when he said, “What you are looking for IS what is looking.”
“What did he mean?”
When you get what he meant, your life will change. Your religious life will end. Your struggles will cease. Your humanity will emerge. You heart will heal.
You, my friend, will experience a resurrection that causes those who do not yet know it to look for it in some resurrection beyond this life. In other words, when you become aware of this single greatest spiritual truth, you will have discovered the mystery of all mysteries…what Jesus called, “the abundant life” (Jn. 10:10).
For me, it was like waking up. I woke up to the realization that grace comes to those who stop struggling. Which is why, in the little novel, Why Is God Laughing, one of the characters says, “When it finally sinks in that there is nothing you can do to find God, he suddenly appears.”
That’s the mystery. Perhaps even, life’s greatest paradox.
Remember this, my friend.
You can make knowing the Divine Presence into a problem if you’d like. You can let your religion brainwash you into thinking that you’re undeserving of God…or, God’s grace…or, that your ugliness is so ugly that God had to kill his own Son just so he could look in your direction.
You can believe in madness if you wish…but, if there is something in you that feels as if there may be more to this story of God’s grace than the limited version you’ve heard, then I’ve got good news for you…and, I mean, really good news…not bad news peddled across a religiously misguided marketplace as if it were good news.
Want to know what this good news is?
A Course in Miracles puts it like this: “When we are finally ready, God will take the final step in our return to him.”
Lama Surya Das, the most highly skilled western lama in the Tibetan tradition of Buddhism, put it like this: “The finding of God is inseparable from the longing for God.”
If you’re a Christian, here’s how Saint Paul put it: “Saving is all God’s idea. And, all God’s work, too. What we do is trust him enough to do his work in us…” (Ephesians 2:8-10).
In other words, anything you do to add to what God has done is, of course, the problem. You cannot add anything to grace.
Why would you? How could you?
Even following some prescribed formula for activating this grace – like reciting the Four Spiritual Laws or some “Sinner’s Prayer,” as it is sometimes called – is little more than a great big attempt to add something else to the nothing else that needs to be done. Why would you add your icing to a perfectly decorated cake created by a skilled bakery chef? What, the chef needs your help?
No, my friend, the secret to knowing God is to quit trying.
“The day you stop looking for God is the day you discover God has found you already.” (From The Enoch Factor: The Sacred Art of Knowing God).