Success and tenacity go hand in hand.
Dave Cunningham / October 19, 2008
Reading Richard Rohr’s Everything Belongs, I was struck by two things that he said. Paraphrased;
1. God hides in the world
2. Prayer without action and action without prayer are each unworkable
As I thought more about these, I wrote some notes.
God hides in the world. Jesus said that bread is His body and wine, His blood, to teach us to look for God hiding in the most common of things, bread and wine. He could have referenced an exotic cake or fruit. But he chose those things that were familiar and available to the masses. His message is that God can be found in the most common of us in the world.
This is a reassuring thought. God lives in the world through us. He has empowered us by this to “create.” We have heard that we are “in his image.” He has made us, or more accurately, we are with God. God is in us. What we do, what we say is our choice in creating our/God’s world.
Rohr reminds us that God is not “out there.” He is literally, in this world in us. We humans are more than just His representatives. We are the instruments of creation.
There is no dualism of God out there and us down here. There is only the wholeness of God-and-us, us-and-God, God-in-us, us-in-God. We are one. We create a joyful, inclusive world or a lonely, isolated world, whichever we choose.
All the problems of the world from those closest to us like our concerns, worries, fears to the greater global problems like poverty, war, environmental abuse are within our control.
It is good to pray to God for intervention as a reminder to ourselves of the power greater than ourselves that we possess (with God). When we pray, we can recognize that God’s intervention works through us. Actions exclusive of prayer are destined for isolation and limitation. Prayer without action is a denial of our responsibility to actively create changes that solve problems, personal and global.
Okay, we say, these are nice thoughts. But even Jesus said that the poor will always be with us. So we walk away satisfied that there is nothing we (down here) can do. But I ask, is it better to do something, no matter how seemingly small, in the face of daunting obstacles, to move in the direction of resolving problems, possibly creating momentum to be followed, than to do nothing. I think that doing nothing squanders our creative potential and is a denial of God.