There is an energy, hidden from view, which is above all things, in allthings, and among all things. I call that energy God. You may call it Love,Life, Wisdom, or Truth. Whatever you call it, and it has many names, the factremains that it is there: creating, restoring, and sustaining all things in itseternal womb.
When we connect with that energy, when we open ourselves to itseffervescent presence, life comes alive with infinite possibilities, incrediblewonder, and amazing grace. This is what I want for you today: that you connectwith God and experience the ineffable joy that comes from making thatconnection.
How do we do this? How do we embark upon this never-ending spiritualjourney? It depends somewhat upon your personality and situation in life. Whatmay work for one person at one point in time may not work for another person oreven for the same person at a different point in time. Spirituality is not onesize fits all. It’s as rich and diverse as creation itself. Nevertheless, thereare some tried and true methods that many people find useful.
Contemplative Connections. This is where you focus your attention on listeningto God. It can take place in any position. We can be still or moving around. Itcan be an individual or corporate experience. Thich Nhat Hanh practices”walking meditation.” What’s the difference between regular walking andmeditative walking? Between regular sitting and meditative sitting? The focusof your attention. When you intentionally listen for God, bracketing the noiseand distractions of life, you’re making a contemplative connection with God.
Conversational Connections. This is where you focus your attention on talkingto God. Many people connect with God by pouring out their hearts in praise,thanksgiving, petition, and confession. This can take place mentally, out loud,or in journal writing. Once again it’s a matter of attention. What are youthinking about? What are you saying? What are you writing? If it’s coming fromthe depths of your being, and if you’re offering it up to the Great One, thenyou’re making a conversational connection with God.
Callisthenic Connections. This is where you focus your attention on moving toGod. Virtually every serious runner has the experience of losing himself orherself in the run. It doesn’t happen every time. But there are moments,particularly during long runs, when the rhythms of running transcend theboundaries of space and time. Other athletes in other sports have similarexperiences. Even spectators can catch the experience. Do you remember theheroic performance of gymnast Kerri Strug at the 1996 Summer Olympics?Sometimes the body resonates like a tuning fork, making a callisthenicconnection with God.
Character Connections. This is where you focus your attention onconforming to God. God is more than spiritual energy. God is also moral andpersonal energy. When we hold ourselves to high moral standards, acting withstrong personal integrity, we make a character connection with God. We bear thefruit of the Spirit. The same applies when we discover and develop our truegift. We exercise authority and stewardship because we know who we are, why welive, and how we serve. Our witness comes through as dynamic gifts of theSpirit, making a character connection with God.
Community Connections. This is where you focus your attention oncelebrating and serving with others. There are things that we can’t do byourselves. Building cities, for example, playing symphonies, or making love.Our bodies create a sense of separation from others. But the truth is we’re allconnected in God’s eternal womb. When we gather for worship rather than war,when we hold hands rather than make fists, when we build up rather than teardown, then we’re making a community connection with God.
Neglect these five connections at great expense.Life can easily shrivel and die. Practice these connections on a regular basisand life can end up bigger and better than you ever thought possible.
May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.
Bob Tschannen-Moran, MCC, BCC