5 Unexpected Places to Find God Today
One of the unique things about Catholicism is its rich history of spiritual traditions. All our beliefs and traditions, as Catholics, are rooted in Jesus Christ. But, as we are distinct members of his Body, different kinds of spirituality have developed to help lead all people, with diverse talents and ways of life, to God. One of the most well-known traditions is Ignatian spirituality, which was developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola in the 1500s and is followed by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) today. Ignatian spirituality emphasizes finding God at work in all things, as a living part of our daily lives. This is done best through the Spiritual Exercises.
By opening our eyes and discerning prayerfully, according to Ignatian spirituality, we can see God constantly at work. Here are some places to look for God today. Though these situations might seem surprising, you can find God in all things.
- On your morning commute. The daily commute can seem like the worst part of the day, but it doesn’t have to be. Did you get a chance to give someone a break in traffic? Did you share a smile with a stranger? Did you simply have a quiet moment to offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the day? That’s God at work.
- In your cup of coffee. You can take advantage of your breakfast to contemplate the beauty of creation. God has created a world in which people work together to bring forth food from the land and transport it around the globe. Your morning cup of coffee is a miracle of God’s creation and human cooperation.
- In your work. How often do we find ourselves grumbling through the workday? We can lose sight of the value of work. But a balanced, healthy amount of work is part of God’s plan for us. As you are going about your daily work, no matter what it is, think about where God is leading you with your work, and how you are serving him by carrying it out.
- In a difficult friend or family member. Although we love our family and friends, even the people closest to us can try our patience from time to time. Yet God is not absent in these situations. When you argue with someone you care about or find yourself annoyed, try to see where God is working. Is he giving you a chance to increase your humility or patience? Does he want to work through you to bring comfort to your loved one? Try to follow where God is leading you.
- In a stranger. We encounter strangers every day. Sometimes, we simply exchange greetings with them. Consider how God is working even in these small interactions to bring his children closer together. At other times, we encounter strangers who need our help. When we serve these people, we are serving Christ. We can be grateful to God for giving us an opportunity to serve him.
When we take the time to look, we can find God alive and at work in every part of our lives. We can live our lives with the confidence that God loves us and does not abandon us in anything, no matter how small it seems.
Try looking for God in unexpected places. Andy Otto offers advice about how to do this on this month’s episode of Encounter. We pray in a special way this week for the intercession of St. Ignatius of Loyola (whose feast day is July 31) that we may find God in all things and discern where he is leading us.