Intentions behind Personal Action

Last week, Brother Larry asked me a question that, as I continue to work towards my ideal vocational future and map out my next steps, has not ceased to buzz around in my head.

He asked, “Where is God in all of this?”

And, almost instinctively, I responded “Underpinning it all.”

To which he quipped, “Spoken like a real Ground of Being theologian!”

While that was my theological answer to his question, I believe the question was posed for more than a discussion of my theological views; the question was actually about my current personal experiences with the divine recently. A question that I, exhaustedly, could not really answer.

Where is God? As of late, I must sadly admit that the fire in my heart has been reduced to a small ember. This internal trend has been occurring for months now – I have lost a sense of wonder at the human experience and the different ways we as human beings interpret and find meaning in our spirituality and communities. I have lost the sense of personal meaning in the communities I am a part of and my soul has not felt alive in quite some time.

I have lost my sense of the Ground of Being underpinning it all, who shifts my lenses and refracts the light passing through, who gives me a more colorful view of the world through transcendent experiences discovered in the pursuit of this Ground through liturgy, art, and community.

As a man who currently attends three religious services – and one Bible study – a week, I find a deep irony in the dark night of the soul I am experiencing now. This might be an example of quantity versus quality – and the importance of intention behind actions.

Last year, I made a conscious effort to genuinely place the various services and Bible studies above my school work. I concluded that I, like many students here at Boston University, can tend towards unhealthy work ethics. It is very easy to over-work ourselves. But, a machine can only run for so long; machines need fire to function. And machines need something to spark the fire whenever it all runs cold.

Also, we are not machines. We don’t have to run. We don’t need to do anything.

The work you and I do is healthiest when we choose to do the work we do because we want to. Not because we need to. It is the intention behind action.

The same goes for religious services. I don’t have to go to anything. I go to these services because I choose to. The weekly communion, the Sunday services, the evening prayers – all of these services are my home. They are my refuge from the noise. The services feed me, but only if I let them feed me.

May I leave the buzzing about my future and vocation and work I have to do at the door when I return to my home at the altar, and may I be reminded by Christ’s words on yokes – or perhaps on have to’s and should’s and need to’s: “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.


Devin Harvin posted on February 7, 2018 at 9:52 pm

this x10000 i felt this on a personal level.

nedyas posted on July 20, 2023 at 9:26 am

Where did this last sentence come from?

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