I was always searching for God, hoping I’d arrive at a place where I was forever connected to the Source of my Being. It may sound silly, but I desperately wanted to get “there”—wherever “there” was. Somewhere. Somehow. Someday.
I chased after God. Maybe reading the next spiritual book would get me there. Perhaps this retreat, this workshop, this new way of meditating would get me to the place of Divine Connection I hoped for.
All these methods of learning and gaining new insights were good, but I never seemed to “arrive.” I continued looking for what I couldn’t quite find.
In his book, The Contemplative Heart, James Finley says Western culture’s message of having to get somewhere frustrates us. He writes, “We are not suffering because we cannot ‘get there,’ but because we find it so incredibly difficult to be here, fully present, open and awake to all this present moment really is.”
According to Finley, we’ve embraced the falsehood that unless we can “get there,” finally arriving at some required holiness, virtue, or spiritual moment of enlightenment, we are incomplete. We keep searching “out there,” striving to find God on the next page, the next chapter, or the next book.
Finley says the remedy for this endless search for the Divine is stillness, letting our bodies relax and draw us to the realization that God is right here, in us, with us. There in our heartspace we are filled with God’s abiding, unending, divine presence. There’s no place to go because we’re already here. We are one with God. We simply need to awaken to this truth.
I figured if Finley was right, then maybe sitting in stillness and focusing on my body would lead me to that place within my heart where God dwells. Maybe then I could stop searching for God.
So, I sat still one morning in deep meditation. Then I sat longer. And longer. Then I fidgeted and was ready to give up. But, before I did, I threw this question out to the Creator, “Where are you, God?”
In the silence of my heart, I heard a loving whisper respond, “I’m right here.”
The words breezed through my heart like wind fluttering through a flute. “I’m right here,” I heard God say again. And, in that moment, in an unexplainable way, I trusted it was God. It was the Divine Voice of Love responding to my question.
And I keep hearing that same Voice saying those same words throughout the day. They keep coming back, surprising me, speaking in my heart.
As I touch the keys on my laptop letting these words spill onto the page, I hear that whisper again, that loving, all embracing Voice of Love saying, “I am right here.”
Tears spill down my cheeks. “Are you really here?” I ask the Creator.
I touch my chest above my heart. I feel a presence, an infinite touch, a loving warmth. “Yes. It is me. I am right here. I promised I would always be with you.”
Ever since I’ve heard God’s silent response, grace continues to awaken my heart.
I hear the Creator whisper, “I’m the wind on your face. The love in your wife’s eyes. The gentle lick of your dog’s tongue. I’m the sunrise in the morning. The sunset tucking you into bed at night. I’m the hug from your friend. I’m the laughter of your grandchildren. I am dancing all around you and within you. See, I’m already here.”
Join me in this simple awakening to God’s Presence.
Sit in stillness. Place your hands on your chest above your heart. Feel the warmth of Divine Presence. Notice the soft beating of God’s gentle rhythm. Let the air flowing through your lungs awaken you to the Spirit within you. Listen. Can you hear the Source of your Being softly whisper, “I am already here.”
Continue to ask for the grace to be awakened moment by moment to the Presence that created you, forms you, and gently whispers, “I am already here. Right now. In you. You in me and me in you. I am right here. And I will never let you go.”
—brian j plachta