Tuesday, January 24, 2012

When I feel closest to God

In the Abraham's Daughters book club meeting I just went to, we read and discussed this audio book called God's Love Languages, where it speaks about the 5 languages we might express our love (and feel most loved with). During the conversation, we started talking about what we do/where are/ who we are with when we feel closest to God. And that got me thinking.

Right off the bat, after hearing some opinions and opinions, I thought, I definetly don't feel closest to God with other people, Im a solitary prayer, all alone and on my own, and thats the way I like it. Really, though? On the drive home, I pondered this question over and over. I just couldnt pinpoint the time/location/surroundings when I felt closest to Him.Oh, there were a multitude of places, but I just couldnt point one out as being superior to the other (and knowing 'my language' just confused me more than helped me).

I felt close to Him when I read my Bible, when I pray the rosary (but ultimately fail at keeping the words up, and end up just running the beads in my hands and being present in my mind). When its dark outside and Jeff is sleeping next to me and I see the reassuring rise and fall of his breathing, and I know how He has blessed me. When a little tiny hand closes hard on my finger in absolute trust. When the snow is falling and its so quiet yet full of noise. And lastly (but not end-ly, because I don't have enough room for a million tiny moments), when I volunteer my time or help someone in need.

So whats the answer to my question? Is there an answer? Since God is everwhere and in everything, shouldn't I be able to feel closest to Him in a multitude of situations, in a literally limitless composition? The easy answer was yes. But I still felt like there was something that escaping me, something I just wasnt getting. And God knows how much I hate that feeling. So my mind kept slowly churning and trying to get the bigger picture. The answer came to me a couple of days later, totally unexpectedly, as it usually happens.

I have been posting on Facebook and talking to my friends about this collection I was starting, taking in any and all non-perishable food and item donations for a co-worker of my mother's who is living through some truly awful times (the kind of situation that makes you repent shamefully of all the complaining you've been doing all your life). Long story short, she is getting major surgery done which is leaving her unable to work for an undetermined amount of time, and she is a single parent of four girls with her elderly father to take care of as well. So I have been shouting it on the rooftops how much she needed as much support as she could from anywhere, and I had a 'friend' contact me and ask me why the hell am I putting up shit like that up every time someone needed any little thing, would I please shut up, and stop bothering everybody by acting better-than-thou. Lovely conversation this started out to be.

A million things went through my brain. I didnt respond to this person in question, but God knows how much I wanted to. Punch her in the face is more like it. But meanwhile, in my head, I was ansering her question. And feeling guilty. Why do I do this? Do I want to look good, or is it just to assuage a feeling of guilt at being in an infinitely better situation than her? But almost right away, the answer popped into my brain.

I do this because, along with a million other reasons, God wants me to.

Ok, pause in the story. I cringed when I thought that. I cringe right now, as Im writing it. Only really creepy people talk about doing what God wants them to do, as well as wearing W.W.J.D. bracelets. SHUDDER. But that thought comes with a lifetime of personally rejecting anything that had to do with faith, and a lifetime of hearing 99.9% of people confirm my previous sentiment. But more on that in another blog post.

So, in the thoughts provoked by a really angsty person, I found the answer to my above dilemna. When do I feel closest to God? Not in church, not walking, not praying. I feel closest to God when I do what He wants me to do, when I do/follow His will, and when I am listening to Him. (Here, some of you must be shuddering to the point of an epileptic attack, and others are going.. I read all that for this?? DUH!)

Talk about an epiphany. A stupid, child-like, slow, it-was-right-in-your-face sort of epiphany, but much progress for such a willful and angry child as I. Now if I could just stop fighting and start listening, the world would probably be a much better place.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not upon your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your path.”

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