Not long ago I sent a friend of mine two samples of some articles I had written and asked him for feedback. This particular person is someone I have known for well over 30 years, so I knew he would be honest with me.
I found his response rather interesting. He liked the piece I was certain he would not, and the sample I was certain he would enjoy he had a difficult time with.
When I asked him why he didn't like the second piece, he said, "It's not the writing. It's all this stuff about a personal God, and having a relationship with God. I just don't buy it."
I thought about his comments for a long time.
What a lonely place it must be to think we have to face life all alone. I can't imagine how difficult life would seem if I believed the only tools I could rely on were my own wits and ego. Jesus said, "The truth shall set you free."
I believe this is an invitation to remember our divine connection and to know that whatever we face in life, we are never alone. We can't be alone because our creator is closer than our very breath.
There is a wonderful parable about a young boy who is obsessed with seeking the truth. He leaves home at an early age and travels the world to find it. Finally at 75, feeling defeated, he decides to return home. When he opens the door, there is Truth patiently waiting for him.
The obvious message is we need not look outside for the truth; it resides within each of us. I believe that we are all divine emanations and that Spirit is always available to us.
My church teaches that God responds to us as we open to God, so that all prayers are answered to the degree that we are willing to invite God into our lives.
In other words, a personal, warm and loving relationship with God is always available to everyone. However, we must make the first move.
The philosopher Soren Kierkegaard wrote, "We must take the risk in believing in something that may not be provable ... we must take a chance, take a risk, a leap of faith, of belief and of commitment."
We must put our doubts aside and allow God into our hearts.
The surest way to discover what is real and what is an illusion is to develop a relationship with God. Only then can we know what is authentic.
I have often had people come and tell me how their lives are filled with pain and that they have lost their faith. When times are difficult, it is easy to forget our connection to Spirit and to strike out and blame the world, friends, family, fate, luck or even God. Making the decision to have a relationship with God enables us to see beyond our momentary discomfort and to know that it is within our power to move from fear to peace, anger to love and victimization to self-sufficiency.
Ernest Holmes wrote, "There is a power for good in the universe available to everyone and you can use it."
Why not begin today to use this power? Invite God into your life and see what happens.
Think about it, you can go on trusting yourself or the one who made the mountains, oceans and sun and stars. For me it's an easy choice - how about you?
The Rev. Ron Fox, Center for Spiritual Living-Space Coast, Rockledge