Five (Surprising) Places to Find God
Many of us fall into the subtle trap of thinking the only place to find God is at church. If we’re not expecting to find God everywhere, we might just miss great opportunities for help, healing, and spiritual growth. Here are five places where God awaits you:
1. At Work
The relationships you have, the results you achieve, the quality and mindfulness with which you do your work can all be the stuff of holiness. Plus, the money you earn to support your family and the esteem you hold as a contributor to the world can either help serve the kingdom or be an impediment to it. Each day we “suit up and show up” at work we get opportunities to learn more about ourselves and to contribute our gifts to the good of the world.
2. In Difficult Relationships
It’s easy to love other people when everything’s going well. But when there are hurt feelings, mistrust, or clashing wills, relationships don’t feel very much as though they are of God. Yet it is at just those times, that we can witness the movement of God in our lives, leading us to healing, trust, and cooperation. These can be opportunities to let go of character defects and to exercise virtues.
3. In Our Failings
We all like to be heroes. But it’s a given that each of us will fail in our lives. Nevertheless, when we hit our limits or even when we sin, we can turn to God for acceptance, mercy, and the strength to make amends and sin no more. In that turning to God and in our opening ourselves up to God’s grace and forgiveness, we become better people.
4. In Loneliness
Our hearts are restless until they rest in you, O God. Rather than trying to fill the emptiness with mindless entertainment or indulging our cravings, sit still and find God in the emptiness. It takes patience and courage and humility, but you will hear the “still small voice” of God even in the midst of your emptiness responding to your loneliness and restlessness with the only love that fully satisfies.
5. In Pleasure
Many people seem to think that if something’s fun, it must be at least partially wrong. Yet God gives us the world to live in and enjoy. In the words of St. Ireneaus, the “glory of God is a human being fully alive.” Therefore, pleasure is a place to meet God, whether it be the pleasure of nature, of playing, of loving one another, of beauty, or of the occasional overwhelming conviction that we are loved by God.