Beliefnet
Your Morning Cup of Inspiration

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We are not meant to be separate from God. We are meant to have a relationship with Him that is part of our everyday life.  When there is a gap between us and God, we become depressed.  We make bad choices.  We start asking, “What is the point of it all?”  And we feel sad for reasons we can’t explain.

The good news is that God wants us to be in relationship with Him. This point is so beautifully illustrated in the parable of The Prodigal Son.  My favorite part of the story is in Luke 15:20:

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”

If you are a parent, you can feel the incredible emotion of that moment. If you have ever lost someone dear to you, imagine how you would feel if he or she returned.  In the parable, Jesus clearly conveys how much God desires to be in a relationship with us.

Unfortunately, it is easy to get distracted from our relationship with God. Work, responsibilities, and human relationships take up our mental energy and can leave us with little time to give to God.  And the less time we spend with God, the more “out of sorts” we feel.

Below are some ways to close the gap between you and God. Try incorporating these approaches in your daily life.

Prayer: Prayer is a wonderful way to connect with God.  I’m not a big fan of memorized prayers, like The Lord’s Prayer, because we tend to say those prayers without thinking.  Instead, I typically approach prayer in three steps.  First, “God, I’m worried about X, and I don’t know what to do.  Please guide me.”  Second, “God, I am so grateful for X.  I can’t believe that you have blessed me so generously.”  And third, silence.  The silence step is important.  It is the time when I settle my mind and just try to be open to divine guidance.  It is the time when I am at peace because I feel that I am in the presence of God.

Inspirational Reading: When we read positive, spiritual material, it puts us in the right frame of mind to be open to God’s guidance.  On my bookshelf, in addition to a New International Version study Bible, I have books by Joel Osteen and other Christian authors.  I don’t always agree with everything that I read, but that is OK.  No one is going to view life in exactly the same way that I do.  I simply find it helpful to read another person’s point of view, so I perhaps I can think about life in a different way.  Good authors from all religions can help you do that.  For instance, Harold Kushner’s “When Bad Things Happen to Good People,” had a tremendous impact on me when I first read it.  Try to find books and articles that make you think about life and God in different and more positive ways.

Music: In the movie “Amadeus,” Salieri’s comment about Mozart’s music encapsulates my feelings about music generally.

“This was a music I’d never heard. Filled with such longing, such unfulfillable longing, it had me trembling.  It seemed to me that I was hearing the voice of God.”

That is the power of good music. Listening to music can open our hearts to God like no other medium.  Music has such a unique effect on the human psyche.  If I want to calm my mind and connect with God, I will listen to all types of music, from classical to hymns to New Age.  The key is to find the type of music that settles your mind and allows you to prepare to commune with God.

It is so easy to neglect our relationship with God. Spending time with God tends to go to the bottom of our To Do List when life becomes busy.  But our relationship with God is the foundation on which we can approach life with wisdom and maturity.  Without it, we are like a rudderless ship on choppy water.

If you feel that there is a gap in your relationship with God, try one of the above techniques to begin to close it. When you have regular, meaningful communication with God, life feels less frantic and random.  God’s hand steadies us.  When He is part of our lives, we are happier, more relaxed and better to able to handle anything that comes our way.

(Photo Courtesy of Pexels)

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