Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Growing in Relationship with God

Growing in Relationship with God – II

The greater be our relationship with God, the greater is the grace we get from God. One of the ways to have a greater relationship is by speaking to God very often. Another way to go close to him is to relate and understand that each coincidence in our life is because of God.

Through out our day, we relate to so many people. For example, we say 'my son came first in the class today. My father presented me with a new vehicle. My wife cooked my favorite dish. My boss praised my work. My servant did a bad work today. My colleagues did not co-operate with me' and so on.

So also we relate to so many things. I have my new car now. My house has been painted. My shirt is bad. My refrigerator is working very well. I have to repair my vehicle. My new coat got stained and so on.

When we relate to someone, we always say, 'he is my friend or she is my wife or he is my father or she is my servant or he is my boss' and so on. When we relate to things we say, 'my house, my dress, my vehicle, my slippers/shoes' and so on. If you observe our above statements, there is one common factor lying in them. What is it? Everywhere we say, 'My this and My that'. This is exactly what we call as 'relating to things and people'.

Now, when we talk about God, what happens? We say Jesus said that, Krishna is like that, Shiva did that and so on. We talk as though God is somewhere outside our world - not in touch with us. We talk of a common God not related to us individually and personally. While going to a temple, we do not say, 'I am visiting my Krishna, my friend today' or while going to church we do not say, 'I am going to see Jesus, my God'. Why we do not say so? Is it because God is common to all?

Now let us take this example. The mother of a child says to her neighbor "you know, my son came first in class today". The father of the same child says to his colleague, "today my son got his report and he stands first". The grandparents of the same child say "my grandson stood first in class". All the three are relating to the same single child with great love. Does that child become many really? No.

Similarly there is only One God, the creator, to whom each of us can relate and relish and love and enjoy. The problem is that we have kept God as common and therefore we have not related to Him individually and personally the way we do in other relationships. Relationship with God actually begins when we start relating to Him as 'MINE'. This is what we mean as relating to God.

We relate ourselves to all people, from boss to servant, and to all things from house to slippers, but have totally forgotten to relate to God who is taking care of us every minute of the day. Yet, we sometimes blame and complain that God has not helped us in this and that event or God has not listened to our prayer. Is this justified? Think.

What does God feel about us? Does He really long for our relationship with Him? You will get the answers if you read the following letter from God to you.

Letter from God

My Dearest Child,

As you got up this morning, I watched you and hoped you would talk to Me, even if it was just a few words, asking my opinion or thanking me for something good that happened in your life yesterday. But I noticed you were busy trying to find the right outfit to wear. When you ran around the house, getting ready, I knew there would be a few minutes for you to stop and say Hello, but you were busy.

At one point, you had to wait 15 minutes with nothing to do except sit in a chair. Then I saw you spring to your feet. I thought you wanted to talk to me but you ran to the phone and called a friend because you were feeling bored and had nobody to talk to!!!! I watched patiently all day long. With all your activities, I guessed you were too busy to say anything to Me. I noticed that before lunch you looked around. You glanced three or four tables over and you noticed some of your friends talking to me briefly before they ate, but you did not. Maybe you felt embarrassed to talk to Me, that was why you did not bow your head. That was all right. There was still more time left and I hope you would talk to Me yet.

You went home and it seemed as if you had lots of things to do. After a few of them were done, you turned on the television. I did not know if you liked television or not. You watched anything that went in it. You spent time each day in front of it, not thinking of Me at all. I waited patiently again as you watched television and ate your meal. But again you did not talk to Me.

At bedtime, I guessed you felt too tired. After you said goodnight to your family, I thought you would wish me goodnight too but you plopped into bed. Atleast when you did not get sleep, I thought you would think of me but NO - you were thinking and planning for the next day!!! That was all right. Because you did not realise that I was always there for you.

I have got patience, more than you will ever know. I love you so much that I wait everyday for a nod, prayer, smile, thought or a thankful part of your heart. It is hard to have a one sided conversation.

Well, you are getting up once again tomorrow, and once again I will wait for you with nothing but LOVE, hoping that one day you will give Me some time!!!!!

Your Friend,


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Contemplative Questions

Here is a set of questions that would provoke you and put you through some soul searching. They are not about religion nor about ethics. They are merely about you.

They are not meant to serve as solutions nor are they meant to lead you anywhere. These questions are meant to serve as tools to discovering yourself.

1) Do you perceive the Presence of a benevolent force guiding, protecting and shaping your life? What name do you give that Presence? When did you best feel this Presence?

2) What is your opinion of God? Is your opinion drawn from religion, books, parents and or your personal experience of life?

3) Do you pray? Do they get answered? How often?

4) Do you think it is possible to relate to the Divine? What relationship would you opt?

5) Here is a story for you - Two fierce enemies once did a penance to placate god and receive boons vying with each other. God appeared to the first man and asked what he wanted. He said "give me twice of whatever you give my enemy". Then God appeared to the second one. Even before God could say anything he asked, "God, would you please tell me what my enemy asked for? On knowing his prayer request, he said, "then God, blind me in one eye."
Now what would you wish for yourself, your best friend and your worst enemy if God gave you a chance?

6) Have you ever experienced a coincidence or chance that seems to have involved so many people and factors that you can't stop wondering if a mastermind was behind this operation? If yes, do you savour the experience often and have you shared it with someone close to you?