Thursday, March 26, 2015

 The following piece is by James Martineau, and he discusses the difficulty we have in recognizing God's presence, although he lives and is ever around us. He initiates a relationship with us continually, but we miss it, calling events common. He makes a comment that sometimes we find Him by a new insight of duty, which I illustrate by the photo.  

"God is ever living in us and around us, he does not enable us to compare his presence with his absence: if we miss him, it is from his perpetual presence and nearness; if we meet him, it is not by feeling after him abroad, but by dropping inwards and returning home. The differences by which he is revealed are in us and not in him; in our faculty of recognition, by no means in his constancy of action. His light is alive in the very hearts that neglect or deny him; and in those that most own him He is visible but not apparent a thousand times for once that it flashes on their conscious eye. But there are moments when the beauty of the universe looks in at us with a meaning quite divine; or a new insight of duty opens a path, which he alone could show. In these instances, we strain no ingenuity to discover him; it is he who comes to us and finds us; his presence rises of itself, and the revelation is spontaneous. Our sole concern is to accept it, to revere it, to follow it, to live by it.

  Thus the true attitude of the devout mind always involves a certain quietism and self-relinquishment. Instead of pressing curiously forward, it sinks in meditation back, rests upon the moment as divine, and feels the very pavement beneath its feet as holy. It has neither any distance to go, nor any time to wait, in order to close in with the Spirit of God; only to own and trust him now and here, -- to pass into his hand with simple faith, a disarmed and un-reluctant captive to his will." James Martineau.

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