Apr 4, 2014

Quote of the day

"We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to touch souls."
-Mother Teresa
As the years progress, I feel like the human race is losing connections with God. People don't visit church or synagogue unless it is a religious holiday, which I know for Christians usually means twice a year (for the two major holidays: Christmas and Easter). With all of our modern day distractions and the hustle-bustle of everyday life, we just aren't as religiously active. Even those who go to church every single Sunday or temple or synagogue whenever those take place aren't as connected as someone back in biblical days might have been. People and their religious practices have changed their ways, and we just aren't as strongly connected. Sometimes, we go a few days without even thinking about God. If you eat dinner with your family every night and bless the food every night but use the same prayer every night, chances are that prayer might simply be words to you. No more than just words you recite every night at the dinner table. They just aren't as meaningful as a made-up on the spot prayer thanking the Lord for everything we have and everything we are.

At this point, you may be wondering: How do I find God, then? Well, like I said, life now is all hustle-bustle and get things done because they are due tomorrow and all of that stuff. "Gotta make money to support my family," and "Have to work extra hard to keep my job" are normal things you might think during a day. God is always around you, but to truly find Him, you need to step away from the noise and business. You simply have to find solitude. If possible, go outside. Connect with nature. Notice that each little flower and each leaf on each and every tree grows and lives in calm, simple, God-made nature without the distractions of man-made inventions. These bits of nature spend their lives in silence, waiting for the appreciation humans used to give them... but don't as much anymore. Find this solitude, and pray. When you are connected with God, you will know you are. You can just feel it. For everyone it is different... But you will simply know. Don't ask me how I know this... I just know that you will know. For example, if I offer God a legitimate prayer, I will know I am connected if my eyes start to tear up. I might not be sad at all, but those tears; that holy water God sent to my eyes; that is what lets me know he is listening.

Yesterday, everyone in my grade at school was assigned to find a spot in nature and simply sit there in silence for 30 minutes. For many, this was a challenge as many of the people hadn't gone 60 seconds without opening their mouth to say something while surrounded by friends. But we all managed to do it successfully. We went out into the still of nature, and we sat. Some people slept, some people were lost in thought. There were probably people who couldn't wait to get out of there, and that is fine. Some people just don't connect that way. Everyone was encouraged to use the opportunity to pray. I'm not sure how many actually did, but the 30 minutes in nature helped me feel so connected. Since I'm not in elementary school, we don't get a nice playground to go play on every day. So I spend my days inside. All day. Glued to a computer screen or taking notes on something or another that I quite honestly don't feel like doing at that moment. I really needed that connection with nature. It helped my mental health as well as my spiritual health become healthier than it has been in a while.

So I encourage all of you to just stop. Go outside, find somewhere away from the distractions of human made things. Go out into nature, find a comfortable place to sit, and just appreciate everything around you. You never know what you might discover.
Also try offering up your best prayer to God. It doesn't have to be out loud. It can be said in your head, but if you are sincerely offering it up to the Lord, he will hear it. Find the special Godly connection symbol that is given to you, and cherish the warm, buttery feeling of it. Good luck, and happy praying.
Take this advice... Please. You will never experience something so real as you do when you know God is there.

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