One that is particularly meaningful to me is the following explanation of God. It comes from Brother Thomas, a monk who has yet to make his final vows. He is talking to Jesse, the central character at a moment that carries great significance for both of them.
Sometimes I experience God like this Beautiful Nothing. And it seems then as though the whole point of life is just to rest in it. To contemplate it and love it and eventually disappear into it. And then other times it’s just the opposite. God feels like a presence that engorges everything. I come out here and it seems the divine is running rampant. That the marsh, the whole of Creation, is some dance God is doing and we’re meant to step into it.
The reason that passage resonates so strongly with me is that it perfectly describes my sense of God. I belong to a traditional Christian religion and have been very active in a variety of ministries within that church, but I find my experiences of God are much stronger outside those walls.
As Brother Thomas says, “God feels like a presence that engorges everything” when I go outside and see the beauty of the trees, the flowers, the endless Texas sky over a rolling hay meadow.
I am not writing this to stir a debate over what practice of religion or spirituality is right. I truly believe that it is different for everyone, and when I worked as a chaplain in the hospital I found spirituality manifested in many extraordinary ways: The Omaha Indian who taught me about forgiveness, the biker who worked with Special Olympics, and the rehab patient who would burst into song and still the entire therapy room.
What I would like to stir is a bit of personal reflection on what God, or a Higher Power, means to you. If you care to share, that would be great.