Where is it that you see God? So often we seek God in the extraordinary, then miss God’s all loving presence in everyday events. On this Third Sunday of Advent, the priests and Levites from Jerusalem pose questions to John the Baptist. These questions seem applicable to my own life. Often I ask, “Are you the anointed one? Are you the prophet? Are you Elijah?” Like the Pharisees, I too, am seeking out the extraordinary while Jesus lives right in the midst of each moment.
Who could blame anyone for trying to find God in the extraordinary? Isn’t God the God of Israel, the mighty One, the God of power and might? Sure we will look for God in the anomalies of society and culture, even of nature. As we continue on our journey of faith though, we become more focused on where God lives.
Benedictine spirituality sees all of life as a means of seeing God. We learn soon after entry into the monastery that God is present in the very small things, the ordinary, and the mundane as well as in the extraordinary. The monastery is called by Saint Benedict the school of the Lord’s service for good reason. It is here that we realize our service to one another and to the people who are associated with us, that we are both seeking and serving God.
For us to know God, we must seek God. I believe that we begin to really know God when we open ourselves to knowing who we are. The first two degrees of humility found in the Rule of Saint Benedict help us to wake up to the reality of who we are. Joan Chittister, OSB puts it succinctly when she says, “The first two degrees of humility are God is God and I am not.” Once I know the difference, then I am able to let God be God and not force God into the God box of my own creation.
As we continue on this journey toward Christmas, where is it that you see God? Where do you look? Are you looking for God in the extraordinary or in something as unexpected as your own life?
Ana Cloughly, OSB