By: Fr. Roy Cimagala
IF we believe that God is the supreme being and the source of all good things in life, why don’t we talk a lot about him, especially in the public fora where most of the people are?
It would seem that speaking about God is restricted to some places only, like in a church or in some so-called ‘holy’ places, but not in the market place, nor in offices and in the discussions of socio-economic and political issues where, in fact, God is most needed for our guidance and enlightenment.
Of course, many would say that talking about God would be awkward in our mundane affairs. He will have, as they say, his own time and place. In the meantime, we can just focus on our temporal affairs and set aside God for a while.
This is a classic example of reasoning that stems from an incoherently Christian life. It is as if God has no place or hardly has any relevance in our temporal affairs. He would just be a disturbance in our exchanges, an elephant in the room.
We need to correct and overcome this mindset. If there is anything that is most important and indispensable in our affairs, no matter how mundane they may be, it is, of course, God. We get nowhere when we are not with God. Worse, we can deceive ourselves that we are getting on with life just with our own powers, without God.
The plain truth is we are nothing without God. God can never be absent in our life since he is our Creator, and as such he is the giver, keeper, guide and end of our very existence. He can never be absent in our life. Ignoring him would just put us in some bubble, detached from a basic reality about ourselves.
We have to learn how to relate things to God and to see how God, in fact, is most relevant and indispensable in everything we get involved in. That’s the problem and the challenge. Many of us do not know how to relate everything to God.
That’s why we need to be bold in talking about God. Remember St. Paul saying, “Preach the word. Be prepared in season and out of season. Reprove, rebuke and encourage with every form of patient instruction. For the time will come when men will not tolerate sound doctrine, but with itching ears, they will gather around themselves teachers to suit their own desires…” (1 Tim 4,2-3)
If at the moment, we do not know how to relate things to God, like our work which can be technical or theoretical or practical, then we should face the challenge of studying the connection between God and our work, and how our work can, in fact, be a good vehicle to get in touch and to keep an intimate relation with God. Our work should not be a hindrance to that relationship.
Some people would say or complain that God is so mysterious, so supernatural, so above their heads that it is useless to be talking about God or relating things to God. Well, the first part of the argument is correct, but the conclusion is wrong.
The mysteriousness of God should not be deterrent in our effort to know more about him and about how he is relevant to everything in our life. If we are humble enough, which is arguably a big assumption, we would be prodded, not deterred from knowing him more and how we can relate everything to him.
The very least thing we can do in this regard is always to put ourselves in the presence of God no matter how mundane a task is or a circumstance we may be in. We can offer everything to him, thank him for all the good things that are there. And from there, for sure all sorts of helpful considerations can come.