By Sr. John Michele Southwick
Assoc. Director, Campus Ministry
Is it wearing a particular type of clothes? Is it having a special group of friends? Is it belonging to a certain sports team? Or is it listening to a special kind of music? Any or all of these things might make one look important in the eyes of others. It makes it look as if you know what’s happening, what’s going on, what’s up.
However, spending some time alone doesn’t conjure up the same images, feelings or the same reaction, does it? If you ever told anybody that you spent that time alone thinking and ‘praying’ about the things that God has done in your life, about the people in your life and what you are learning about yourself, what would they think then?
Everything around us tells us that we should not pay a lot of attention to the questions and concerns which naturally come up inside of us, such as: what is the meaning of my life, where
am I going, why am I here?
Prayer. It might be something we learned as a child. It was saying grace before meals, saying prayers before we went to bed, being forced to go to church on Sunday. That was then, we did it because we had to. Now, we can make our own choices. But what should our choices be? Religion and spirituality are so different. God is in us and all around us, whether we belong to a religion or not. A relationship with God is the same way. Society talks about wellness, which includes Spiritual wellness, a wholeness within a person. That wholeness needs to come from within. Nobody out there has that answer for us, we have to find it on our own. When we let the questions in our lives surface, we look for ways to live with the ambiguity of life.
The questions are not easy to come by. No matter who you ask, the atheist, the secular humanist or even the believer in God, we still need to make sense of it ourselves and come to our own conclusions. Many times we only go to God when things get tough, when our life is turned upside down or when we want something badly.
What about the other times?
God is always present to us! Each and every second of the day or night God is present within us and among us, in our own beings, in each other, in a beautiful sunset, a flower, a snowflake. God is even with us in our failings because that is when she gives us the opportunity to grow and mature as human beings. It is usually the ups and downs of life where we find our growth.
But if you never take time for yourself and spend some quiet time, how will you ever be able to think, to pray, to grow and to ask those fundamental questions that you need to ask to bring you to growth?
“BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD” Psalm 46:10