You can travel to distant galaxies
and dip your toes in every ocean.
You can catch all the fireflies in the universe with your bare hands
and watch them rise into the distance, a marvelous display of light …
You can soar through shimmering clouds into the sunrise
over grand ranges of mountain majesty …
You can explore every nook and cranny of beauty on earth and beyond,
and you’ll never go further than God,
who lives in your own heart
and all around you,
whether you notice
In our modern world, we are conditioned to look “out there” for happiness. Through advertisements and images on social media, we are taught that others have more, better lives because they have more and do more. It can be tempting to focus on seeking external material things, experiences and accomplishments.
Though there is nothing wrong with material things, experiences or accomplishments, the truth is they will never satisfy the deepest longings of our human hearts because only God can.
Saint Augustine said “Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.”
Through contemplative prayer, we can cultivate interior stillness and closeness with the Lord, which is inherently more satisfying than any other external experience we can have.
Through prayer, we can gain deep wisdom and understanding like the mystic Saint Teresa of Avila, who wrote:
“Let nothing disturb you,let nothing frighten you, all things will pass away. God never changes; patience obtains all things, whoever has God lacks nothing. God alone suffices.”
Through prayer, we can become like the martyr Saint Maximillian Kolbe, who was so deeply realized “God alone suffices” that he chose to sacrifice his life for another at Auschwitz.
Through prayer, we can become more like Helen Keller, who wrote “What I’m looking for is not out there, it’s in me.”
Ultimately in this world, nothing is more valuable than the inherent presence of God Himself within our hearts, minds and circumstances. Whatever you’re going through, God is with you and can be found in the stillness within your being through prayer. The question is: “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s spirit dwells in your midst?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)
Do you tend to be motivated primarily by material or spiritual things? Have you discovered anything in the material world that truly satisfies the deepest longings of Your heart? Comment below, and I’ll be delighted to keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
Lord, give us the grace to truly know and encounter Your love deep in our hearts and all around us. Help us to love You, our Creator, more than Your creation, even the most wonderful parts of it. Help us to grow in our ability to know You and make choices in alignment with the generosity of Your Love and Spirit in our lives. Give us the grace to live fully in alignment with Your will for our lives. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
written by Nicky Gant for www.uniteinprayer.org 11/20/2019