God’s Five Favorite Hiding Places
Sometimes God is hard to find, let alone know very well. Not being able to see God, we have to go places where a God-like presence can be sensed in some distinct way. Here are God’s seven favorite hiding places, where such an invisible presence can be felt from the heart and validated by the mind.
This particular hiding place maybe the one that is most commonly missed, because it is far from the obvious. It is called many things from quiet desperation to being caught between a rock and a hard place. This in when you are in a deep hole with a dark cloud hovering over you. Your problems seem insurmountable, things are very unfair by any standards, and all hope for relief is just about gone without abnormal patience.
Why would God hide in such a place that is so hard to find? We can only imagine and wait to find out. The reality I am sure of is that everyone I know who has been in awfully troubled waters, including myself, has survived and grew into a better, happier and more productive person from the experience of having the tenacity to use courage to weather the storm, thanks to God.
Much earlier I used to enjoy heated discussions with atheists and agnostics, trying to prove the existence of ‘my’ God and disprove “their” lack of one. That was a foolish effort, only realized by too many go-nowhere arguments, ending in bad feelings. Since then I have realized if you feel as though you have to prove your own belief and disprove another’s, it is probably your belief that needs some work.
The only thing I can say about the truth of the existence of God is that the closest you can come, is to have more faith in what you believe than doubt about what you can’t believe. Doubt is impossible to get rid of, but for a good reason. With doubt, you actually get closer to God’s presence with your faith, although gradually and painfully at times. But like anything else, the truth is usually somewhere in between the extremes of complete faith and complete doubt.
Earlier Philosophers used to call this hard-to-get to hiding place ‘the golden mean.” It could be that one main purpose of life is to learn, grow and improve into a place of balance in thinking, feeling and doing, where pure truth and beauty reside. That is because, where you find truth and beauty you find God, without a mask.
Another aspect of balance relates to being in the present—in between the past and future. Just like memories of the past fading and glimpses of the future being fleeting imagery, the presence of anything real, like God, can be better experienced in the present now moment. This is because this present now moment is the closest thing to the real nature and accurate perception of time, which is the ultimate hiding place of God. Leaving the traditional mechanical or psychological sequence of passing moments from past to present to future, out of the manner in which you deal with time, removes the main barriers in the way of getting closer to experiencing God’s true nature, with the right timing.
For me and many others, nature is the easiest place to experience God’s presence. In fact, it is very difficult to miss Him as he is all around and everywhere! All you have to do is be still, look and listen, and see and hear. Seeing and experiencing the long and short life cycles of plants, the natural flow of rivers, the majestic sight of snow-capped mountains, the vivid colors and total harmony and cooperativeness of everything in nature, is enough proof of God for any serious doubter.
Or if doubt lingers, take a walk on the beach and try to conceive of the number of grains of sand on all the planet’s beaches, or pick up a sand dollar and begin to count the tiny dots making up a perfect star shape on the underside. Or better yet, climb up a high mountain at least once in your lifetime to experience an unobstructed God-like view where spiritual insights are abundant. And if you are not a mountain climber visit your local zoo once a year to be reminded of God’s playfulness by watching and enjoying the strange-looking animals.
Since God is most equated with love, this is another one of His rather obvious hiding places. But you know what they say about the obvious—sometimes it takes longer to see than the more obscure. The difficulty in finding this hiding place is in getting to the true nature of love, which is the unconditional love of other people, beyond your family circle, close friends and pets, where such unconditional love is very easy and natural.
It is the expectations for getting love returned and the conditions we impose in giving it, which keep us from finding this magical hiding spot; at least until we finally realize this is how we keep ourselves from experiencing the incomparable joy of accepting and understanding God’s unconditional love for us. So, to find this last hiding place, we have to learn, grow and improve to get to the other side of two very ornery obstacles—being able to accept the unacceptable aspects of another person and understanding the saying, “this could very well be me, without the grace of God.”
William Cottringer, Ph.D. is Executive Vice President for Employee Relations for Puget Sound Security, Inc. in Bellevue, WA, along with being a Sport Psychologist, Business Success Coach, Photographer and Writer living in the mountains of North Bend. He is author of several business and self-development books, including, “You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too” (Executive Excellence), “The Bow-Wow Secrets” (Wisdom Tree), and“Do What Matters Most” and “P” Point Management” (Atlantic Book Publishers), “Reality Repair” (Global Vision Press), and Reality Repair Rx (Authorsden). Bill can be reached for comments or questions at (425) 454-5011 or ckuretdoc.comcast.ne