You won't find God by searching
What do God and Wally have in common?
They’re both hard to find!
When Martin Handford’s puzzle book series Where’s Wally? (known in North America’s as Where’s Waldo?) first became popular, there was always one to be found in our house. The five kids pored over them for hours, determined to find the tiny man wearing a red-and-white -striped shirt and beanie, and round glasses.
When they went to school, I’d take a turn, scanning the pages eagerly for the frustrating little guy who did everything he could to elude me. This activity vaguely reminded me of something else, and one day it popped into my head what it was.
Trying to find Wally was like trying to find God.
Because I grew up in a fundamentalist church, I knew God was big, bearded, and very shiny. Also, He was usually frowning, and pointing an accusing finger earthwards, zeroing in on me. Big clues!
If He was pictured in a puzzle book, He wouldn’t have been too hard to find.
But He wasn’t in a puzzle book. He was cleverly hidden in the sky. He always knew where I was, but I could never find Him.
Now that I was an adult this relationship with the divine hadn’t changed. Although I usually managed to find Wally, I’ve never managed to find God, no matter how hard I tried.
God Can’t Be Found
I’ve finally given up searching for God because God can’t be found. You can’t point and say, ‘Aha! There’s God!’
You won’t find God by searching.
You can only sense God by being yourself.
By that I don’t mean you sense God by living out the trivial self that tries to organise the whole world to your satisfaction.
You sense God by letting go of all pettiness and the sense of separate selfhood; and then just being, existing, unfolding, in this moment.
God isn’t outside of you. God is within.
When you drop your sense of self, you can sense the beingness underneath, what Eckhart Tolle called the timeless presence. You sense the emanation of the source of all life.
When you sense this, you’ll also sense that everything you see is an emanation of God.
There is nothing that is not of God,
This Tricky Word “God”
Just like Wally is called Waldo in the USA, and other names in different regions of the world, God has other names. And sometimes, because of cultural and religious baggage, it helps to use another name, another word. I know it helps me to do so.
That Which is Beyond Existence; the I Am; the Source; Timeless Presence; All-Love; Oneness; the Divine; First Cause.
But whatever word you choose to use, just remember this:
If you want to find God, just stop searching.