Never take God for granted PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 24 May 2018 13:49

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

THIS is our usual problem. We take God for granted many, many times. Even when he is always around, we manage to ignore him and even to go against him. We have to overcome this problem.

Let’s remember that time when Christ returned to his hometown and started teaching in the synagogue, and his people could not believe that one of them was a “big guy.” (cfr. Mt 13,54-56)

That kind of reaction can very well describe our attitude toward God in general. Even if we as a people are Christian believers, many of us do not realize that God continues to be with us. He is actually inside and outside us. He is all around.

A beautiful psalm describes the omnipresence of God. It may be worthwhile to put it here, at least, in part, so that we become familiar with this phenomenon and start to correspond to it properly.

It’s in Psalm 139 where it says: “You have searched me, Lord / and you know me. / You know when I sit and when I rise; / you perceive my thoughts from afar. / You discern my going out and my lying down; / you are familiar with all my ways. / Before a word is on my tongue / you, Lord, know it completely. / You hem me in behind and before, / and you lay your hand upon me. /

“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, / too lofty for me to attain. / Where can I go from your Spirit? / Where can I flee from your presence? / If I go up to the heavens, you are there; / if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. / If I rise on the wings of the dawn, / if I settle on the far side of the sea, / even there your hand will guide me, / your right hand will hold me fast. /

“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me / and the light become night around me,’ / even the darkness will not be dark to you; / the night will shine like the day, / for darkness is as light to you...”

I remember Opus Dei Founder St. Josemaria Escriva saying something similar. “There is something holy,” he said, “something divine hidden in the most ordinary situations, and it is up to each one of you to discover it.”

Yes, what we have to do is to cultivate the skill of being aware of God’s presence all the time and in everything. It’s a matter of honing our contemplative dispositions and skills, which means that we should not just be contented at looking at things in their externals and neither in their internals. We have to go beyond and see the presence of God at the core of everything that exists.

Let’s remember that God as Creator can never be absent from his creatures, because as Creator he is the giver as well as the maintainer of a creature’s very existence. Take him out, and that creature reverts to nothing.

That is why God is in control of everything. He may allow us to act freely such that we can go against him, but he is still on top of us. Our freedom cannot remove him from us. We just have to realize that our freedom is properly exercised when done to give glory to God. That’s what our freedom is actually for.

We have to sharpen our contemplative skills even in our most mundane affairs. So everyday, let us find ways of how this can happen. It is the most worthwhile activity we can do. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul by missing God in his life?