Seek the LORD while he may be found, call him while he is near. (Isaiah 55:6)
Whether we are conscious of it or not, all of us seek the Lord in our lives. We look for God in our homes, our neighborhoods, schools and offices. We look for God in our successes and setbacks. We look for God in our hopes, our fears and our dreams. We look for God in all that we must accomplish today.
With all that we have on our plate, who has time for all this seeking? Truth is that seeking God is not about doing anything extra: seeking God is merely opening our minds, hearts, ears, eyes and imaginations to a God who is always with us in the midst of all the things that we have on our plate.
St. Francis de Sales wrote: “God is in all things and all places. There is no place or thing in this world in which God is not truly present. Just as wherever birds fly, they always encounter the air, so also wherever we go or wherever we are we find God present. Everyone knows this truth – intellectually – but not everyone is successful in bringing this truth home to themselves.” (Introduction to the Devout Life, Part II, Chapter 2). Not only is God always where you are “but also present in a most particular manner in your heart and in the very center of your spirit. He enlivens and animates you by his divine presence, for God is there as the heart of your heart and the spirit of your spirit.” (Ibid)
So, the problem is not that God is not present in our lives; rather, we simply – and tragically – fail to recognize God’s presence. Francis wrote: “Although faith assures us of his presence, yet because we do not see him with our eyes we often forget about God and behave as if God were far distant from us. While we intellectually know that God is present in all things, we fail to reflect upon this truth and act as if we did not know it.” (Ibid)
One of the most powerful and effective means to seek the Lord – to see the Lord who is always present – is prayer. No matter how busy, frustrated, lonely or elated we become, no matter how full our daily plate might be, we can always pray: a word, a phrase, a thought or image that reminds us that the God who created us, who redeemed us and who inspires is, indeed, Emmanuel, a name that means God is with us!
Why is this so important? When we are aware of the presence of God, we are more likely to treat one another in a loving, peaceful, caring, kind, truthful and gentle manner. By contrast, when we fail to recall the presence of God, we…well…we are more likely to behave in ungodly ways.
Seek…see the Lord who is always present in yourself…in others…in all the activities of each day. Remember to think, feel, dream, work and act accordingly!