In his book, “In Pursuit of the Great White Rabbit,” Edward Hays puts out this significant portion of spiritual guidance:
“If we are to experience God, we must be open to God, to the mystical, to the divine, appearing in our lives. And we must have an openness that is free of any preconditions about HOW that will happen. Looking for God in a godly form is the great historical mistake.”
Christmas Gets Me
A season like Christmas can redirect the spotlight to this mark once again: An “unplanned” baby in a mangey manger in a barely-there town, held by peasant parents who are about to become refugees…
As Hays says: We must be open to God without preconceived notions of what “godly” type of thing we’re looking for. This speaks to the idea that one brave friend recently told me about. He walks through his day with his scheduled plans laid out, and strains to receive what I would call interruptions as opportunities, even as divine knocks upon the door of his life. Part of me is moved by the idea, even drawn toward it. Another part pulls the e-brake and declares, “We aren’t going there, Jay.”
But I cannot get away from Hays’ closing sentence: “Looking for God in a godly form is the great historical mistake.”
I see it often in the pages of the Old Testament. My nativity set reminds me of the Christmas connection. And a look in the mirror pushes harder: “Am I looking into the eyes of a man blind to the divine and senseless toward the sacred, just because he’s pre-determined what they surely must look like?”
I pray not.