How do we find God? Or maybe the question should be how does God find us? Maybe it takes both, us looking for God and God finding us.
I’m certain God knows where we’re at. If God wants us he can find us. The psalmist said there was no where he could go that God wasn’t already there ahead of him.
But, if we want to find God how do we? Maybe we should really get this into the simplest form we can. Let’s say we’ve misplaced something we use every day, like the keys to the front door. We always have them in our pockets or we leave them hanging on a hook, the same place all the time.
But this morning when we went to get them they weren’t there. How do we find them? Most of us would rush around looking in the most likely places we might have put them down. Usually that doesn’t work for me. They’re never where I think they should be.
So, when I’ve become so exasperated that I don’t know what else to do I sit down, sometimes I put my head in my hands, and I talk with God. I tell him I’ve looked everywhere and I don’t know where else to turn. And then I sit and quietly wait…in silence. I make myself still. I listen. I sit and look around me…and wait.
You might think it odd; you might think it would never work for you but too many times what I think I’ve lost forever is found again…right where I left it but could not for the life of me remember that I’d put it there.
So, if we were looking for God don’t you think the same practice might work? So many times when we’re looking for God we think we can only find him in the sanctuary at church, when, if we’d stop and think, he’s as close to us as our hearts.
I find God in the early morning, riding my bike out past Leo and Gayle Stuart’s place. I find God in the song of the red wing blackbird and the meadowlark. I find God in the wind turbines as they are propelled by that unseen force we call wind. I find God in the stillness just before the robins wake and begin singing their praise to the Creator of everything.
God can be found everywhere, in our everyday lives, in our breath, in our passions, in our anger, in silence.
We are able to find God in our every breath, in those murmurs that provide inspiration. God comes to us like those rumors we hear at coffee with just a whisper and somehow we know it’s actually God’s voice we hear.
In an instant God comes with a rush, a gasp, and in a breath God passes by us.
God make his presence known to us in our passions. God’s like a fire burning inside us, intense pain, a feeling of heat and desire, a zealous intensity that’s like an obsession, rapturous, almost a crazed feeling, in passion God passes by us.
Is God present when we’re angry? If he’s with us in everything else he must be in those places when we are filled with madness, livid with indignation over wrongs done, exasperated, incensed, provoked beyond our endurance…God passes by in anger.
But it’s in the silence, the hushed quiet, the still, muffled, suppressed quiet, when we’re at peace, calm, placid, cool, unruffled...in silence God passes by.
To find God listen, look, see, and behold: in the everyday of life are the everyday theophanies, those dramatic appearances of God who passes by and calls us on the way.
Can you hear it, the Silence? Listen, for it holds deep certainties. Not those that come whirling in like truth tornados, whipping up storms, their eyes on doubts leaving the heart’s landscape littered with broken hopes. Not those that come in earth-moving, land-shaking, ground-churning spectacles to cast cracks like gaping wounds through carefully constructed dreams. Not those that come with cackling, crackling glee, their greedy glow and unquenchable appetite blazing a destructive trail to cauterize the very roots of charred visions.
Can you hear it, the silence? Listen. And know for certain that within it lies a truth worth hearing. Listen. Wrap yourself within its folds, let it lead you to an open door and know you go in peace.
Thanks be to God. Amen.