"You came near when I called you, and you said, "Do not fear."
~ Lamentations 3:57
Sometimes in the of newspaper headlines, eight-second sound bytes, and text messages, we seem to forget that God is still at work. In my role as a chaplain and pastor, I spend a lot of my day talking about God's presence with people, and praying, but do I ever really stop to think of how God is still working in the world?
Somehow we have to maneuver through the events of the day and still strive to see God in some new, or existing way. There is the life that God has created for us, and then there is the life that we live. It is a constant struggle between the spiritual life and the life that we encounter. It's almost as if we consciously need to read the headlines with a heart that sees God working, while also realizing the struggle that is ongoing. Recently while on campus at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary I sat in on a class. During the course of the lecture, a picture of current leaders, both political and spiritual, with a very large dividing line between the two was placed on the screen for the class to see. My first reaction was that this was a illustration of "Good and Evil," today in the world. But then, in the back of my mind, I began to realize that within the context of each group, they both believe that they are God's presence and way of working in the world today.
Today it seems we struggle with the power of evil, while we seek for God, whom many feel is hidden.
I am reminded that God is present, and God is real, but it is up to each of us to be the reality of God's existence. Unless we are willing to acknowledge God in the midst of daily human stories that are both filled with tragedy and joy, then we will then struggle to acknowledge God in every day moment.
While humankind continues to make decisions that affect our planet, our lives, and our future, we must not allow these things to distract us from seeing God as being available and present.
God is omnipotent. That means that God cannot decide to be present for one event, and then not for another. Years ago Marjorie Suchocki reminded a group of us that, "God doesn't have a choice. God will always be present."
She went on to share how, "God was present when the bomber built the bomb that would kill and destroy the lives of many people in Boston during a marathon. God didn't have a choice not to be present."
The ability to make choices, good or bad, are always made in the presence of God. We always just seem to forget that God is present.
I am reminded that to pray is not to sit and allow my mind to wander. To pray is to seek God who is real and to grow deeper in the belief of God's reality and presence in the world. God is the source of all life. It is up to us to live our life in a way where God is not just present, but is known.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.