When we keep our focus on God, we are able to feel joyful, or at the very least, peaceful about life. The problem is that our natural inclination is to focus on other human beings, rather than God. That is a recipe for frustration. Other human beings aren’t reliable. They are fallible. They have moods. They make mistakes. Human beings can be intentionally or unintentionally cruel or inconsiderate. As a result, giving them the power to affect our happiness puts us on a continual emotional rollercoaster.
The only way to get off that rollercoaster is to keep our minds focused on God. That is very hard to do. For me, it is a daily struggle. But I know that when I shift my attention away from people and shift it to God, something amazing happens. I feel calmer. My problems are put in perspective. And I feel less alone because I know that God is with me.
Now we all commune with God in different ways. I commune with God by writing. When I write, it isn’t a frantic activity. It is a meditative process. It allows me to feel connected to God in a way that no other activity can accomplish. When I write, I will jot down a sentence and then pause. I’ll think. I’ll try to listen to the guidance that God might be trying to impart to me. And then I’ll continue with another sentence. When I write, no matter what is going on in my life, I feel relaxed and at peace.
Most of us know what our special activity is – the one that give us that feeling of calm and well-being. The activity that helps us feel closer to God. The challenge is to find a way to incorporate that activity into our daily lives.
Most of us aren’t monks or nuns. We aren’t paid to be spiritual. Instead, having a spiritual life is something that we have to add to our already lengthy To Do List of worldly responsibilities. But the benefit of having a spiritual practice is that it makes the rest of life run smoother.
A relationship with God is the foundation on which we can approach life with a peaceful frame of mind. Without that relationship, we easily can be overwhelmed and frustrated. We can lose hope when we don’t see a solution to our problems. And we can feel so terribly alone when we have to face a difficult situation.
When we commune with God, we are reminded of what is important (family, friends, living honorably) versus what is unimportant (our social and economic status). We are reminded that God provides, even in the most unlikely situations. We remember that when we cannot see a way out of a situation, God can create one. And we are reminded that God isn’t concerned with how other people around us are acting. Rather, he is concerned with our behavior, and whether we are being kind and patient.
This week, consider how you can make your relationship with God a daily priority. When our relationship with God is the foundation upon which we build our lives, life goes smoother. Pick the activity that allows you to best feel the presence of God and incorporate that activity into your daily routine. In doing so, over time you will be blessed with the joy and peace that comes from a life lived in connection with God.