The search to find God is a part of many lives. Some find a relationship to God through their worshiping communities and are grateful that they can speak of God in a personal way. But others are still on their search. They have imagined God as sometimes portrayed in Sunday school lessons as an old man sitting on a throne in heaven ordering the course of the universe. But astronauts didn’t find a place called heaven or an old man on a throne. That imagery doesn’t work. Some may have thought that God was like a policeman always waiting to catch us when we do something wrong. But why would we choose to worship a God who only makes us feel guilty? Maybe God just created the world and then left everything up to us for good or ill. Many think this is indeed what God did.
Sometimes the reason we don’t find God is that we are looking in the wrong place. We tend to think that God is somewhere out there…wherever out there might be. God, if God exists, is viewed as transcendent rather than immanent. So we give up and don’t look for God within our own house.
The Mulla Nasrudin in Turkish, Russian, and Middle Ages folklore has many curious teachings that at first may seem stupid but may carry some mystical secret. One quip in this regard is when someone saw Nasrudin searching for something on the ground. “What have you lost, Mulla?” he asked. “My key,” said the Mulla. So they both went down on their knees and looked for it. After a time the other man asked: “Where exactly did you drop it?”
“In my own house.”
“Then why are you looking here?”
“There is more light here than inside my own house.”
There are probably multiple meanings and applications for this vignette, but it is obvious that the men were looking for the key in the wrong place. Sometimes that’s our problem too. We fail to look for God in our own house, our own person. God dwells within each of us; and the more we strive to know our true selves the more acquainted we will become with God. God is the true Self that lives within us.