God. No other word spoken has ever had such a profound effect on the Human species. Whether uttered in terms of anger, or praise there is not a person alive that does not feel something when they say, think or hear that word. All too often we have seen people misuse the Word. We have seen those who would choose to use the thought of the Divine to manipulate and exploit others. The consequence is that the word “God” elicits feelings of dread, doubt, fear or contempt. So many have let their past struggles with religions or dogmas cloud their conception of God. They believe that God must mean the God of their youth, the one in who’s name they were made outcasts, or made to feel dirty or unclean. Deep down they still fear the God that they once knew, they cannot fathom a God that is anything other than the one their parents told them about. And then there are those who see all the sufferings of the world, all the hunger and disease, and think to themselves: “What kind of God, what kind of ‘loving creator’ would let these things happen?”. Or maybe we have lost someone we love, and we have asked: “why would God do this to me, how could he take him/her away from me?”. It is easy to see how so many feel lost or confused, angry or hurt, forgotten and forsaken. But once we begin to realize the true nature of God, whatever name we call Him by, we see that even these painful things have meaning and reason. Think of all your problems, all your suffering, and now think of who you would be without them. All of the lessons you never would have learned, all the people you wouldn’t have met. Once you see pain as what it is, spiritual and mental fertilizer, it starts to seem less and less like pain, and more and more like the blessing that it is. Growth.
God is not the statue on your altar, or the bloody man on your crucifix at mass. He (or She) is the Divine Creative force within all of us. That which binds us all together as Brothers and Sisters, and to the very Universe we live in. The founder of the religion Sikhism, Guru Nanak recognized the unity of all faiths. He worshiped with Hindu’s, and Muslims and saw the truth of both paths. On a trip to Mecca, Nanak, tired and hungry from traveling laid down to rest. He was awoken by a Muslim Imam who was irate. The Imam said: ” How dare you sleep with your feet pointing towards the Kaaba?” (The Kaaba is a holy place in Mecca, often thought of as the residence of Allah Himself.) To which Nanak replied: ” I invite you to point your feet in any direction where God cannot be found.” He understood the connection between Us, our Universe and The Divine. He knew that the separation we feel and perpetuate is only an illusion. He also knew the name of God was not as important as the feeling it gives us. And that to be offended was a human emotion, not something God would bother with.
The way I see it, God is Allah, He is Jesus, Krishna, Jehovah, or whatever name you choose. A name is only a name, it does not define. God wanted all his children, in every country, to come to Him. To know Him. So in different places, in different times, in different ways he manifested Himself to His children in forms they would be able to understand. His love for us can be seen just by recognizing that there is NO place on Earth that humans have lived that some sort of faith or spirituality has not evolved. Every culture has their own conception, but more importantly, every culture HAS a conception. On the surface, these religions seem to be completely different, but in essence they teach the same morals and the same truth. And every religion speaks of God’s unending Love for us.
Humans, unfortunately have perverted the teachings of The Divine for their own selfish gains. Often for money or power, these wrongs have consequences that resonate much further than we can conceive Tarnishing others perception of Our Father as I have stated above. Although to our Human minds these people seem bad or malevolent, these are the ones who need our prayers the most. Those who wish to hurt others, are not mistakes, only mistaken. To them the world is a scary, dangerous place where one must lie, cheat and steal to survive. What a sad thing is must be to fear life itself. Once we begin to see these people in this manner we cease to be angry with them, the emotion becomes more like pity. We start to feel sorry for them, We begin to want to help them. These people and events also give our lives contrast and allow us to feel gratitude for the blessings we have. But with great blessings come great obligations, we can only stay blessed as long as we pay the love forward and do for others what God has done for us. Even if you don’t think a person deserves your love or compassion, remember that you have God’s love, His grace, and you never had to ask, never had to earn it. It is unconditional so follow in God’s example. Only through this love, this compassionate action can we watch the world change. And the world WIll change.
Every action, every thought, every word has a resounding effect on the world we live in. Instead of being angry at the one who has wronged us, we should remember God’s love and think to ourselves: “This person is hurting, how can I help them”. In this way we turn every enemy and adversary into family. Every so called “Problem” in our life just becomes another solution. You begin to feel angry less and less, pain starts to be nothing more than a fading memory, and the beauty of the world is revealed. We live in such an amazing Universe, Our very existence is a miracle. Viewing life in this way, How could one be sad or angry?
When you laugh, That is God. When you hold the door for someone you have never met, or smile at a child you pass in the grocery store, THAT is God. When we give what we can, no matter how small or meager, That is God. When a rich man gives 100 dollars, it is good, But the poor man who gives the same amount has God in his heart. And the best part about that is that we are all capable of letting God in. Nobody is excluded, Nobody is denied his Unending Grace. His presence in our lives is undeniable when you open your heart to it. Take one step towards Him, and I promise he will make leaps and bounds to get to you. The darkness is gone, The light invades even the furthest corner of our souls. Illuminating the unknown and showing us life is meant to be beautiful not scary. That there is enough for everyone, nobody has to worry anymore. How truly blessed we are, to live in the presence of Our Loving God.