I recently heard a quote from an India spiritual leader (Yogi Bhajan if you must know his name)
If you can’t find God in all, you can’t find God at all.
Though I find the cute little saying quite profound I think it fails to acknowledge that we are all on a journey and some of us are finding God in small petri dishes and others are finding him the whole world over. As I’ve written about before I’m hesitant to say “oh this person isn’t a true Christian because of….,” and so I’m equally hesitant to say someone hasn’t found God because they haven’t found him everywhere. It’s a bit too elitist for me. Nonetheless….
I think it’s very easy to narrow our search for God upon certain areas. I think we automatically discount places and people where he seemingly can’t be. We think of dark places, or maybe even the plain places and move our attention onward, thinking God can only be found in radiant beautiful light.
A few years ago before I was an old married dude (I’m 27) I did 300+ mile backpacking trip in Virginia. It rained – a lot. In fact I left the car to begin the trail in the rain. Often I’d climb up a mountain (what on the west coast would qualify as a hill) and get to overlook just to see I was enveloped in a cloud. My hard earned dramatic landscapes were often not to be found.
But what I discovered was beauty in the forest. It wasn’t as overt as 200 foot waterfalls or snow-capped peaks, but the experience taught me to find the beauty in what was around me. Because it’s there. It’s about dropping your expectations and being open. Similarly I think we can find God everywhere we go, even in the darkest of corners (if not especially so in the darkest corners, as we serve a God of redemption), but it’s a matter of casting aside filters and expectations. It’s less about gaining new eyes and more about seeing with pure ones.
What do you think of the hippie quote? Were you uncomfortable with me quoting from a Middle Eastern non-Christian? Do you find it difficult to see God in all things and people – or do you even believe this could be true?