Ask the Author: Question & Response
My question is this, if God is so close, why is God so hard to find?
– Bernadette, England
Imagine a very good friend that you have not seen for a while. Imagine all the fun times you have had together, all the laughs. These memories are always within you, yet if you choose not to focus on them, you will not feel or experience them. Regardless of how great your relationship is, you can go days, even weeks without thinking of her. Yet, if you for one second thought of her, all those emotions would begin to return, and the more you focus on them, the more experiences and emotions you would feel and recall.
Imagine your heart. It works every day, every hour, every minute, and every second to keep you alive. During the day, how often do you think of your heart? You could say you owe your life to your heart. Yet, how often do you thank it? How often do you send it love? How often are you loving to it? Regardless of what little focus you put on your heart, how close is your heart to you? How hard is it to find your heart?
God, as is your heart, is within you now. God has gifted you free will. Thus, you are free to place your focus on what you choose to. God has never left you, nor will He ever leave you. In the moment, you have the choice of what to focus on. Focus on feelings of loneliness and you will experience their expressions. Focus on God’s love for you and you will experience this energy flowing through you. In the moment, focus on judging a brother or sister and you will feel the heaviness of judgment weighing you down. Or focus on having compassion for and serving your fellow brother or sister and you will feel love lifting you up as it flows through you.
My friend, we have been inadvertently brainwashed by our family members, friends, peers and society in general to focus on so many external things that we barely give ourselves any time to think of God or what our deepest, truest desires are. In large part, this is why many people perceive that God is hard to find. We follow one of the ego’s treasure maps after another; often on an external physical search for what should be an internal spiritual journey. Regardless of how shiny, large, important or essential others tell us these external treasures are, they can never bring us true everlasting peace of mind and joy. The realization that all of our external journeys have not gotten us to where we desire to be awakens us to our true journey.
The connection to God that you seek is not found on an external journey, but an internal one. It is a journey to a place you have never left, but have simply forgotten. Bringing yourself back to the ever present moment is the door you are seeking. This door opens to a place where judgment is replaced with compassion, worry is replaced with trust, and an anxious mind is replaced with a peaceful mind. The moment, in and of itself, remains the same. What changes is your interpretation and participation in it.
My friend, let’s take any ordinary moment in your daily experience. Now instead of focusing on the noise, everyday concerns, distractions or worries that usually consume you, take that same moment and instead focus on God’s absolute love for you. For just one moment, focus on what you have truly been desiring to focus on.
Imagine walking on your way to work through a park or street. Focus on one tree that you’ll soon be walking by. Instead of doing what you have been trained to do, such as focusing on the past or future, or what you have to do once you get to where you are going, put those and any other distracting thoughts aside. Instead, focus on the strength and beauty of the tree. Ask God to fill you with His love. Feel pure divine light entering you from the top of your head and filling your body like a sponge, until this energy begins to overflow. Then visualize yourself sending this overflowing divine love to the tree. Feel the tree absorbing all this beautiful and powerful energy. From deep within your heart and soul, thank the tree for its shade and magnificent beauty. Then as you get closer, feel the tree returning all this energy back to you. Feel the tree’s gratitude for your acknowledgment of it. Feel the tree loving you back. Truly allow yourself to be open to this energy. Before this sacred energy comes back to you in the form of pure divine, loving light, visualize yourself opening the door to your heart and soul. Truly feel yourself open and willing to receive this light; do this and you will feel it. This is the choice and opportunity the moment offers. You can spend the moment drowned in the many heavy thoughts, concerns and worries that you continually allow to pollute your mind, and pass by the same tree you have walked by a hundred times without even noticing. Or you could invite the same tree to assist you in focusing on God’s eternal gift to you, the eternal present moment.
The eternal present moment is free from past and future imaginings, free from judgments and ego-based illusions. It is that deep breath you take in and then let out with the knowing that God has His arm around you and is in your corner. It is when you let go of all your stresses and worries, and choose to trust God’s plan for your life. It is the laying down of that heavy invisible bag of anxiety you secretly carry with you, and allowing it to dissolve in God’s eternal love for you.
My dear friend, God is as easy to find as your desire to focus on Him. There has never been, nor will there ever be a moment in your life where God is not. There will be moments in your life that you will forget God and choose to focus on something you deem more important. That is fine. God does not judge you for what you choose to focus on. He patiently waits for you to look His way, and every single time you do, you will feel His hand lovingly and peacefully held out to you. You may have temporarily forgotten Him, yet God rests patiently within your heart and mind, like a dear old friend, simply waiting for you to focus on His love for you, and on your love for Him.
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This is one of the most beautiful sites I’ve been to. I am greatful to have found it. – Newport News VA
Dear James, my friend.
Thank you for allowing God to reach my heart through your writing of “You have chosen to remember”.
I’m french speaking and the writings that follow won’t be of a perfect english, but i will do my best to make the understanding of it not too difficult.
About 2 years ago, on a night where my whole being was filled with loneliness, despair, sadness, resentments, anxiety, you name it, i was sitting at my computer , with obsessive suicidal thoughts and i was just too sick and tired of carrying this weight. Something had to happen, and quick !
I didn’t know why, but suddenly i decided to type in the word “God” in the field of Google search. I clicked on the first link that i saw which conducted me to your website and started reading. As i was reading the text, i started crying, but i mean really crying. I first tried to hold it back, like i was so well shown to do, but i couldn’t. It’s as if God himself was talking to me, finally, after all these years. I felt a warmth invading my whole body. I was not under control, i can tell you this much. I did not feel alone anymore. I felt safe and welcome to cry, so i did. Around two hours later, i went to bed, a little lighter and felt some kind of peace inside. The storm had ceased, and i slept like a rock. Twelve hours later, when i woke up, I went on your website and ordered the book. The reading of it has been the key that opened the door for an introspection.
Here’s my story.
I’m 43 years old, born sixth of a family of seven child. A sad event happened when i was 4 years old. My younger brother died of leukemia, he was 2 and half years old. Being born with this life threatening disease, all of my parent’s love and attention went towards him. I was just too young to understand what was going on. My two older sisters had no choice but to take care of me to the best of their capacities, in spite of their very young age, they were only six and eleven years old. Today, i realize that, what i was desperately asking both of my sisters for, the love and attention of my mother and my father, they could not give it to me. It simply was irreplaceable. This constant frustration, over the years turned into a deep resentment in my heart towards life itself, my family, friends, and later on, society at large. I needed love so bad that i was willing to go to great lengths to get it. In my teenage, i developped a second personality, based on a lie. At home, i tried to be perfect to my parents eyes. Outside the house, i was really me. I started smoking marijuana and stole money from my parents to buy it. I felt “cool” and loved by my friends. When i was under the influence of drug, i felt so good, everything was all right. No pressure, no fear, no guilt, no shame, no resentment. Today, i can safely say, as awkward as it may sound, that these first experiences with drugs saved me from going crazy. It made my double personality tolerable. I felt under control. So, for the following 15 years, i basically lived to use drugs, and use drugs to make my life tolerable. I could not face the truth and was not willing to do so anyway. I used drugs, lied, manipulated people, stole, and i leave the rest of it to your imagination. This journey was like an endless downward spiral. And i let myself slide down this spiral until my body, my mind and my heart could not take it anymore. In my last days of using, i remember asking God to come and take my life. I was obsessed by suicidal thoughts, days and nights, i could not find the courage to end my life and drugs, don’t ask me why, just stopped working. I will spare you the details of my living conditions. This was April of 1994. Through God’s grace, i managed to find enough courage to start asking for help. I was referred to a meeting and this has been a turning point in my life.
I’m a recovering drug addict who has been clean from all drugs for 13 years now. I practice a 12 steps recovery program which allow me to have my own, personal conception of God. This single fact turned my life around. As a kid, i was told what God was. I was even shown large pictures of him hanging on my hometown’s church walls. What i was taught of him did not make me want to be friend with him. I was scared of him most of the time and seriously believed i was bound to go to hell. I certainly could not”TRUST GOD”. I was taught that, in order to be deserving of God’s love, i had to be perfect and i knew i wasn’t, at least according to their understanding of God. With the kind of life that i lived until i was 29 years old(1994), i was convinced that God did not want to have anything to do with me.
Working the steps of this recovery program brought me back to me, and to God. I had many awakenings since i stopped using drugs. Some were pleasant, and some others were hard to assume.
Along with this program came the tools i needed to face life on it’s own terms; Thanks God !
To make a long story short, I was given many gifts, many new friends, and gratitude for God’s way of reaching me.
I met very simple but yet, extraordinary people. But, honestly put, for the first eleven years or so of my recovery, my ego was congratulating me for my self-sufficiency. Needless to say that this way of thinking conducted me to end up in a very dark and lonely place. All those feelings that i felt just before to stop using drugs came back, and even stronger. The only difference was that, this time, i could not blame life, anything or anybody. I was face to face with my ego and wanted to die, once again. This is exactly when i found your book, Thanks God.
Through your writings, i discovered that i was not the creator of my ego. This alone relieved me of the guilt, the shame and self-hatred for ending up one more time in such conditions. At least just enough to enable me to grasp a ray of hope, a ray of light. And this ray of light(Love) brought another awakening : I could do something to change. I was introduced to a brand new concept: Self-forgiveness. If i can, with the help of God as i understand him, forgive myself, i open the door for love.
Somehow, i always knew God was inside of me. But i fought so hard to deny this basic truth. It almost killed me.
So today, i’m trying to replace fear by love. I try to let go of the ego, and let God do his work. I’ve been practicing it steadily for the past two years and guess what, the little spark of hope your book gave me turned into a flame. I got back the desire to live, to love, to share with my brothers and sisters all over the world. I’m eternally grateful for being a child of God, just like all of us. Today, part of my recovery program is to be there for another addict who has yet to find his way. And this is the greatest gift i’ve ever received : Being able to extend this love to another human being. It’s like a miracle happening under my very eyes.
So now, being aware of what the ego has in store for me and the results of pursuing it, and at the same time having experienced the peace of mind that comes
with serving my brothers and sisters, i choose to trust God’s plan for my life.
Thank you for being what you are, my brother.
Gratefully….. René D’Amours
To find God is not a hard thing if one can make up his/her mind.Until a man understand his hopelessness and helplessness he has not began.ones readiness and willinglingness is a pre-requisite requirement for finding according to the scriptures.[2corintains 8:11-12,philemon 1:14]It is a wrong perception to imagine or think that God is hard to find and it is understanding to be liberated from wrong illusion conceived from disobedience that He can be found[Hosea 6:1]In summary, what JESUS says to us according to the gospel of mathew is a constant reminder that substantaite the undisputable truth that the responsibility to find Him rest upon us individualy by seeking and asking.[mathew 7:7]May His grace locate us in Jesus name. Amen! – Nigerian, but on UN peaceking in Liberia