‘Let’s learn to communicate’


Whether it is in listening to the rhythm of the falling rain, feeling the cool of a winter breeze, watching the snowflakes fall and glisten on the trees, or in witnessing the grain sprout, all the time we are experiencing god who speaks to us through every experience and event in our lives. All our sensory experiences find their origin in him. Why then do we find it so hard to communicate with him? God is only a breath, a simple prayer or hello away. Yet, we struggle as if communication with him is an onerous task. We have strong expectations of such a god. We make a list of demands and requests that we expect him to accede to. When that does not happen, we are disappointed and unhappy. Even if god does not give us everything we want, he is speaking to us at every moment through the day-to-day experiences and the events that punctuate our lives. He answers prayers in his own way and in his time. Daily events may pose new challenges to us. To some, especially the old, it may be loss of mobility or an increasing disorientation from reality. To the young, it may mean a daily struggle with finances, the inability to land a steady job, a sudden accident that may be disenabling. And now we have the new pandemic that is sweeping across the world in the form of COVID-19. These daily challenges make us wonder if god exists. In such situations, we begin to pray in a different way. All our prayers may not be answered and god may not speak to us in spectacular ways. But, if only we listen, we find that he has opened up new channels of communication, such as genuine intense prayer, more effective action and a positive attitude, which bring us both strength and peace of mind, less anxiety and better health.
We hear him, we listen to him, when we are able to accept daily realities that may be painful to experience and see his presence even in the worst of circumstances. To find meaning in circumstances that test us — as the present pandemic is doing — is to open a fresh channel of grace that god reserves and pours upon the unfortunate and the afflicted. Maybe, we do not listen to him because we are too busy and do not take the time to listen. If we are too caught up with ourselves, we may ignore the still, small voice. We may expect him to reveal himself in dramatic ways but that is often not the case. It is even more difficult for us to experience God in big tragedies that strike our lives. But, he has a message for us even in tragedies. Some call this surrendering to the will of god in our daily lives. Surrender may sound passive and defeatist but really it is a quiet acceptance of reality while keeping hope and optimism alive.
Some listen to god in the beauty of nature, others by meditating and focussing on him. Most are able to experience his closeness in the daily happenings of their lives. If we really listen, we will find that god is present and gives meaning and hope to each and every circumstance of our lives.
-Janina Gomes