Friday, August 13, 2010

Blog # 42 TO 'SEE' GOD

BLOG # 42 TO SEE GOD Some spiritual writers have made the comment that it is perhaps more difficult for people in our day and age to be aware of God and to see God in His ongoing work of creation than it was in the past. Many of us spend most of our time these days indoors. As a result we are less in contact with the earth itself, the sky, and nature. We live in such a mechanized world that we come into far less direct contact with natural forces and realities as compared to the experience of people long ago. They grew their food from the soil. We buy it already packaged and ready to cook if not ready to eat. As a result of our modern experience we tend to be further removed from nature as such and less inclined to be aware of God in what we experience. Yet God is present in all of creation today as well as "in the beginning". Years ago I planted a vine outside the church of which I was Pastor to remind us of the words of Jesus that He is a vine and we are its branches. As the vine grew it did remind us of our faith and our relationship with one another. Then almost as though they were created just for this hundreds of caterpillars appeared on the vine. Was the same God speaking to us in the caterpillars as in the vine? If so it would seem He was working against Himself. I noticed as I picked off the caterpillars they all knew enough to hide themselves on the underside of the leaves, a reflection to me of the wisdom of an all-wise God. God was in the caterpillars as well as in the vine! I continued to ask what could God be saying to us in the caterpillars eating the vine which we planted in His honor to grow in our knowledge and love for Him. I heard Him telling me He wanted me to have freedom to make judgments with regard to Him. In freedom my love would be a genuine choice. God would not be like the electric switch. Flip it on and the light lights! Praise God and my tomatoes grow! Pray and the caterpillars do not come! That kind of relationship would almost seem to try to capture my relationship with God in justice rather than in the wild freedom of trust that begets true love. No, God, the good God, is present even in the caterpillars, and wishes me to discover Him there. But He will not force Himself upon me, proving the truth at the price of my freedom. Then I heard God inviting me to see in the caterpillars an image of sin. As the caterpillars were an enemy of the vine sin is an enemy of the Church and of every person in the world. I am to work against sin as I am to work against the caterpillars. Victory can be ours. But if I do not conquer the caterpillars they will ruin the vine. Psalm one touches upon the joy of seeing God in all creation. May each of us see and love God everywhere and praise Him for His goodness every day, wherever we may be ! God is always there!! ...and always in love with us!!!

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