Where is God? When Wall Street’s burning, Europe’s railing and Iceland’s melting?

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Funny, I’ve been doing this thing called “life” for over forty-five years now and I have to admit I keep doing the same things; expecting something new. Someone, famous, I can’t remember who, said this is the definition of insanity so I guess its official; I’m insane. The thing I keep doing and expecting to be different; is that I keep blaming God for everything that goes wrong and I keep thinking it’s God that’s distant, not showing up, out on sabbatical and tired.

                I’ve blamed God for everything from the traffic light that turns red too early to divorce. God is my scapegoat; mostly because he never argues. He’s patient, even when I’m cynical and skeptical it makes me want to rip out handfuls of my hair or commit a crime; just to see if he will burn a bush or vaporize…

                It’s as if I’ve whipped every rotten characteristic, of every man I ever dated into one God monster and that’s who God is when life sucks. I treat the painter of creation, the breath of life; like some sort of match.com reject.       

                Recently, I’ve been making all sorts of explanations for why God seems to have turned a blind eye toward the recent world explosion, why it is that God appears to suddenly be a Bette Midler fan doing business “from a distance” Why he didn’t keep us from all this, why it appears he’s out on some long overdue vacation or extended potty break. The truth is; this is my mistake. The mistake I keep making. You see, it’s not God whose; distant, moving away, not showing up, on sabbatical or deeply entrenched in drama. It’s me. God never moves.  I do. I move, run, get distracted and become obsessed. Disconnected from my source, miles from faith, I attempt to do life on ‘my own.’

                Before Rome; God was. When derivatives were created; God was. When consumers applied for third mortgages; God was.  When Europeans invested in America; God was. When Iceland began defrosting; God was.

                Free will – it’s a gift and a responsibility. Our life; our choices; our consequences. The only other option is “God robots.” God’s, not into that… Instead,  I’m free to choose a distant God, the one Bette Midler sings about or to choose an ever present , God ,as close as my breath as intimate as the cells in my body; walking with me through every fear, every doubt and beyond.

               Blatant disregard, greed, dishonesty, over indulgence; life has consequences. Free will; you and I have choices; ignore the signature of God or embrace it; it doesn’t change: God is.

                Funny , forty five years later and I’m finally learning that when I feel doubt and fear it’s a sign I’ve veered off my path, it means it’s time to turn around, it means I’ve moved in the wrong direction.

               This morning after reading the New York Times I felt that familiar pang; anxiety, worry, doubt but instead of moving away from my Creator, like I usually do. I chose to turn around, to reach for HIS touch, for an infusion of the breath. I ran full speed back to the arms of faith, back to the out stretched embrace of promiscuous grace to unconditional forgiveness and allowed myself to be warmed by grace. This grace fits me; it allows me to walk out into the unknown, believing that God is; even when Wall Street’s burning, Europe’s railing and Iceland’s teetering.

Author of sunrise and sunset; breath of life; God is.

Pam Hoelzle

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