The Divine Presence Within
The greatest lesson in the spiritual life is the realization that the Glory of the Divine resides within each of us. Jesus put it this way: The Kingdom of God is Within You. This cosmic fact is a door leading to a quality of being that is sublimely joyous and liberating.
Like the Musk Deer we go seeking for the great aroma outside of ourselves, ceaselessly searching outside of ourselves for something that is within. One poet put it this way: When you are lonely or in darkness, I wish I could show you the astonishing light of your own being.
That astonishing light is a source of reassurance in difficult times; it is a source of inspiration in all times, leading our footsteps progressively deeper into the intimacy of divine love and transformation. Like anything worthwhile, the awareness of this inner realm of light and life, of love and joy, takes time. Why? Because it involves a relationship of trust. It is the development of our own capacity to trust in the reality of this inner source of inspiration and companionship, God. Developing our commitment to this relationship takes time.
The primary obstacle that keeps us from the experience of God's Indwelling Presence is the very thought that we are separated from God. We fail to realize that God indwells us; therefore, we fail to take the time to cultivate the most precious relationship in our lives. Who of us would think to fall in love with another person, believing that we did not have to spend any time cultivating the relationship? And, yet, this is exactly what we do with God. Even devout believers fail to take time on a daily basis to develop this relationship. At best, believers often mistakenly regard a minute or two of prayer each day as sufficient and adequate. Not so!
When we begin to take time, to make a Divine Appointment with God each and every day, we begin to experience the gradual development of intimacy with God. We sense his Presence more and more in our thoughts, in our words, in our activity. We begin to experience God's Presence in other people and in the world around us. Our hope in the future is enlivened; our willingness to serve others is inspired.
Our Divine Appointment is a time when we merely show up for twenty or thirty minutes, at least twice a day, to engage in communion with the One who loves us most dearly. In that time, we merely consent to be present to God's Presence and Action within us. This act is the centerpiece of a meaningful life. It is the central act without which any person's religion will always remain unfulfilled. This act is worship. Worship begins to suffuse every pore of our being with the awareness of Divine Presence.
Worship is the act of rising to a personal consciousness of the Real Presence of God which floods the soul and bathes the whole inward spirit with refreshing streams of inspiration and healing. As one great teacher put it: "never to have felt that, never to have opened the life to these incoming divine tides, never to have experienced the joys of personal fellowship with God, is surely to have missed the richest privilege and the highest beatitude of religion." Do you have time to make a Divine Appointment? Your invitation lies within your own heart.