To know God is a shared experience. Each of us is both gifted and limited, and to share our experience, strength and hope we come to know God. I would like to share with you.
“A human’s best chance of finding God is to look in the very place where they abandoned God.” —Meister Eckhart
I abandoned God (or thought I did) as a sophomore in college. I had already found a path, a vocation of helping the “lost children” of this world. I was one of them, reaching out to them. All that I learned in church and Sunday school was “nice” but now I had seen “the real world” (or thought I had).
I began working in industrial relations because I sought to help the working man. It took me several years to realize the company I worked for couldn’t care less for the working man or woman. It was about the same time that my mother’s alcoholism had led to a progressive condition quite like Alzheimer’s and a hope that I might one day relate to her as a normal son to a normal mom was dashed.
I was in many ways powerless, and it’s awful to be that way if you have no higher power. I was not too proud and in a matter of a month or so I actually got down on my knees and prayed. To my surprise and joy, God answered that prayer. In a few years, Pat and our kids were headed to seminary at Nashotah House.
Eckhart’s insight certainly reflects my experience. We are far more likely to find God where we abandoned Him than on some mountaintop of hope and good behavior. God seeks to show us His love, not to seek our praise and good behavior. How better to do that than by reaching out in our place of need and despair?
—The Rev. David Else