The title says it all – Finding God in the Nada (Nothing) and why a Spiritual Director is the BEST gift we can give to ourselves!
Ok, so you have heard my moaning, groaning, bemoaning, wailing, complaining and crying over not getting the house I wanted and how I feel like God has pulled the rug out from underneath me. WEEELLLLL…..I was meeting MY Spiritual Director (yes, even Spiritual Director’s need a Spiritual Director) and dumping the same pile of victim on top of her wise head. I told her I was tired of sitting in this place of limbo, unable to move forward with my plans. I want a house and I want it now, I want this divorce to move forward, I want my book to be released, I want more paid writing gigs, I want more clients and I want to start creating my new life. I’m tired of sitting here with NOTHING happening – NO house, NO book, No divorce, No clients (literally….my calendar suddenly became TOTALLY empty!), No paid writing gigs, NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING! And this is why I LOVE my Spiritual Director – she followed up my temper tantrum over hating this place of nada with the following question:
“Lauri, can you find God in the nothing?”
SCREEEEEECH! I felt like those hysterical women in the 1940’s dramas who are startled out of their hysteria when the “big strong man” slaps them across the face (which, by the way, I do not recommend). What? Finding God in the nothing? Well…….I know it is easy to find God in the miracles – the pink sink, the affordable home, the eager contractor….. AND it is easy to find God in pain – God as our source of comfort, God as our source of healing, God as our source of inspiration. But….How do I find God in the nada?
The image that surfaced when she asked me this question was one of a caterpillar resting snugly within the chrysalis WAITING to emerge as a butterfly. To the naked eye, it appears that nothing is happening. It appears that the caterpillar is simply taking a nap and that it will someday emerge….as a caterpillar. AH…..but in truth, there is DEEP and PROFOUND transformation taking place….IN THE NADA! Nothing is happening…..and yet…..PROFOUND change is taking place….and not just any sort of change…but a change that is MAGNIFICENT and DEFIES LOGIC.
So…..How can I find God in the Nada? It seems that this is perhaps the biggest leap of faith that I have ever been invited to take. Can I find God in this space of seemingly nothing? Can I trust that God is at work in a deep, silent, profound place where it appears that nothing is happening….but perhaps something is? HHHHMMMMM I don’t know. But then the answer came……How can I find God in the nada? The answer in a nutshell is: IN THE PRESENT MOMENT.
Duh….God is present in one place and one place only – THE PRESENT MOMENT. Can I get out of my list of grievances from the past and out of my daydreaming and planning about the future and BE HERE NOW? Can I enjoy the presence of my children? Can I appreciate the beauty of autumn? Can I be grateful for a time to pause, reflect, pray, meditate. Can I be present to my own need for healing, comfort, silence? Can I recognize that perhaps my clients disappeared because I don’t have the emotional energy to be present to others in that way (right now anyway) as I face my own grief, fear, etc. Can I just be here now and find the peace of God, the compassion of God and the embrace of God in this time of NADA? Well, all I can do is try.
So today, I thank my Spiritual Director for metaphorically slapping me across the face and startling me out of my victim tirade to be present to the more important question at hand – Can I find God in the Nada?
To whom do you turn for support, guidance, presence in your own Spiritual Journey?
What is your typical response to times of Nothing, Limbo, when there is seemingly nothing happening?
How do you find God in the Nada?
Authentic Freedom Ministries/YourSpiritualTruth