Today’s poem has got me thinking about where I have looked for God, and where I have found God. Undoubtedly my answers have changed significantly over time, as my circumstances have changed, and as I have changed. To be honest, there has not always been as much overlap between the two as I might have expected or hoped!
I have a very wonderful Spiritual Director, a Roman Catholic Sister whose wisdom I greatly value. One of the things I value about her is that she doesn’t beat around the bush! Some years ago, I was describing to her a quite overwhelmingly wonderful experience of God which I had had at a conference. Or maybe it was a retreat, or a quiet day – I don’t now remember. Anyway, she listened attentively, and then she said “Have you thought that maybe you need to stop looking from one mountain top to the next, and start noticing God in the ordinary stuff?” I was a bit taken aback, to be honest. But she was right.
Living from one out-of-the-ordinary God encounter to another was never going to be sustainable. It wasn’t a way of spiritual life that could see me through (potentially) 40 years of ordained ministry. I’ll be honest, looking for God in the ordinary has not been exciting. Which, I guess, is the point. It doesn’t lend itself to spectacular experiences or tweetable moments. But somehow, over time, slowly and unspectacularly, it has changed me. It has changed my understanding of who God is, and who I am in relation to God, who is God of the ordinary.
This year for #AdventBookClub we are reading “Frequencies of God: walking through Advent with R.S. Thomas” by Carys Walsh. Join the conversation on Twitter using #AdventBookClub or on Facebook by searching for the group ‘Advent Book Club’.