I’ve been thinking again about the idea of God being in everything, having bearing on everything, the idea that everything in our lives should be made sacred. Thus far, I have come up with two different spheres of thought (although they do overlap, of course).
In a broader or grander sense, I’ve been wondering if you can fully study anything without believing in God. (This truly is a question, not an “I have a definite opinion and am just phrasing it as a question” sort of wondering!)
Can you fully study anything without a recollection of the context in which you work? If, as I believe, all order, all created things, is a gift, then it seems as though if you study math or music, science or sociology, without an underlying attitude of gratitude as well as an understanding that there will always be mystery, then you are missing something. Without that context, are you really studying anything to its fullest potential?
As a side note, I love the idea that there will always be mystery in our world, our universe, for our curious minds to explore. The idea that we are at the pinnacle of knowledge is a bit ludicrous. As Isaac Newton said,
I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
I am interested to know what others think. Is it possible to study anything outside of the context of a creator God? (Forget, for a moment, what you believe about a relational God or about Jesus Christ…simply consider the idea of a creator God.) In a more immediate and practical sense (I am well aware that not everyone is as much a lover of learning and studying as I am!), I am discovering that in order to find God in everything, to make everything sacred, I must work to develop habits of living more fully present where I am. I must truly pay attention to who and what is surrounding me. It is much too easy for me to just drift or skim through a day, usually focusing on what is to come rather than on what is.
A huge part of living more fully present is completely relational. Every one of you reading this is a son or daughter, brother or sister, friend, spouse, parent, or grandchild. Finding God means developing every day habits of loving, patient, kind, selfless living in the community in which we are right now. It is discovering once again what family means, what neighborhood means, what community means.
It sounds, perhaps, too simple, but it is something that I can start doing and exploring right now and never reach the end. I can never get bored with this even if I work at it for the rest of my time on earth. Will you join me? art credit: photo of Eagle Nebula from NASA