Losing Hope = Ignoring God

Hindus believe the self or soul (atman) repeat...

As I evolve and grow, I seek inspiration from many sources. very often, I gain it from the words of my favorite blogs, other times from daily email feeds. A meditational piece about hope and transformation appeared in my email a couple of days ago. It said that if we lose hope, we ignore God. At first, I was fairly stunned by that idea, so I meditated on it for a while. If I give in to my anxiety, am I losing touch with or otherwise ignoring God? Let’s break it down.

  • One of my all-time favorite Biblical passages comes from the Gospel of Thomas, which is generally not in any standard Bible. It goes like this: The kingdom of heaven is within you and all around you. 
  • To be in the presence of God is to be in heaven. Common wisdom says that we have to die to go to heaven, but I politely disagree. When our physical body passes away, returning to dust, what part of us remains? Our souls do.
  • Our souls are separate from our bodies, so our souls can be in the presence of God, and therefore in heaven, at any time. Think about a time when you were blissfully happy, fulfilled, and at peace with yourself and those around you. At that point in time, no matter how fleeting, you were in heaven.
  • What happens when we feel anxious? I can’t speak for anyone but myself. At those time, I feel very alone, very sad, and as though nothing will ever change for the better. When I am anxious, I feel hopeless.
  • Being anxious means that I  have temporarily stopped listening to the God-voice inside me, the tiny voice that we call intuition or wisdom that tells me that everything will be better and unpleasant situations will eventually cease.
  • Giving in to anxiety = feeling hopeless and anxiousness = self-centricity that blocks out God’s voice.
  • Using the commutative law of spirituality (that I have now created), losing hope = self-centeredness = ignoring God.

Who said math and logic couldn’t apply to spirituality? 🙂

Does this mean it is sinful to be anxious, since sin means turning away from God deliberately? If I choose anxiety over happiness, then yes. The operative word here is choice. I never consciously choose to be anxious. However, I am human and flawed, and my brain tends toward anxiety whenever I am in physical, mental, or emotional pain. Since I have a disease that tends toward unpredictable and debilitating physical pain, anxiety sometimes clobbers me without any warning.

And then there’s my need to find a better job to create a satisfactory, stable environment for my family. I’ve now been through my eighth second-place finish, and that causes some elements of mental and emotional sadness and anxiety. I could choose to stop looking and just find happiness in my present circumstances, and sometimes I wonder what I don’t just do that. However, to do so would be to ignore the rich gifts I have been given and to derail the well-being of my family, neither of which would glorify God through my life. So I knowingly risk anxiety by trying again and again and again to find that “perfect” job. When the anxiety attacks, it is in the wake of some tremendous let-down, and simply a reflection of my humanity and weakness. Again, it is a choice to find the opportunity I need, but it not a deliberate choice of anxiety over happiness.

So how do we hold on to hope, and thus allow our soul to live in the life-giving presence of God? I think it’s by listening for that tiny voice that lives in each of us whenever situations seem bleak. Sometimes, that tiny voice might sound like a nearby child or a stranger. No matter how much we ignore God, She will find a way to get our attention once more. She will never give up or let us go. She loves us and delights in our happiness.

So am I going to heaven? I’m already there. All I have to do is find God. Come out, come out, wherever You are!

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